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LSL shares tumble 10% as it warns of rise in home sales falling through

LSL blamed the disruption created by the September mini-budget and rising mortgage rates on slowing new home sales

Shares of estate agent group LSL fall after owner of Your Move warns of profits as home sales slow and cancellations rise

  • Trading conditions are ‘more difficult’ due to rising rates and uncertainty
  • LSL reported reduced mortgage activity and new home sales
  • It also saw an increase in previously agreed sales failures

LSL Property Services has warned that full-year profits will be lower than expected after witnessing a slowdown in demand and an increase in falling sales.

The group behind estate agents Your Move and Reeds Rains said that since its first half, business conditions have become “more difficult” due to rising interest rates and political uncertainty which is unsettling the housing market. .

“Across the broader market, this has resulted in reduced mortgage activity and new home sales, and increased fallout from previously agreed sales,” chief executive David Stewart told investors on Friday.

LSL blamed the disruption created by the September mini-budget and rising mortgage rates on slowing new home sales

LSL blamed the disruption created by the September mini-budget and rising mortgage rates on slowing new home sales

The group’s revenue rose slightly to £276.1million in the ten months to the end of October, thanks to a strong performance in its surveying arm, but its estate agency business saw a decline by 6%.

The company, which also provides advisory services to mortgage brokers, now expects the group’s overall performance to be below its earlier expectations.

He said full-year profit should be “in a range just above or just below that reported in 2019”, after previously forecasting a stronger performance.

Shares of LSL fell 11% to 233p on Friday afternoon, leaving the stock down nearly 44% from a year ago.

“The housing market is heavily impacted by sentiment and has the potential to surprise on the upside,” the group said.

“However, with the recent reduction in activity levels and continued uncertainty over economic conditions in the UK, until we have more clarity on the economic backdrop, we are cautious about the market outlook for 2023.

“A significant reduction in real estate transactions would clearly have a significant effect on our real estate agency residential sales business and our direct-to-consumer financial services business.”

The update echoes a recent survey by Aviva, which found that the cost of living crisis has forced more than a million first-time home buyers under the age of 45 to put their plans on hold.

September’s disastrous mini-budget and the resulting spike in mortgage rates have repeatedly been blamed for slowing the housing market.

Zoopla last week reported a £4,000 drop in the average house price between October and November.

And said the sharp rise in the cost of borrowing triggered by the mini-budget accelerated a slowdown in market activity that had already begun in the summer.

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