Have estate agents hijacked your high street?

7th April 2015


The City of Westminster has 179 estate agents, and seven other London boroughs are home to more than 100 estate agents each, a new survey reveals.

A report by HouseSimple.co.uk, an online estate agent, found that Greater London has a total of more than 2,600 high street estate agents and that the average agent branch in London makes fewer than four sales a month.

Walthamstow has 18 estate agents within a quarter of a mile of the Tube station

There is an average of 83 estate agent branches in every London borough. Wandsworth, for example, which includes popular areas such as Balham, Putney and Wandsworth Town, has more than 150 estate agents.

According to calculations by HouseSimple, individual London estate agent branches made an estimated average of more than £400,000 in fees last year, on fewer than four sales a month.

HouseSimple also counted the number of estate agent branches within 400 metres of major Tube stations.

The research revealed that Walthamstow has 18 estate agents within 400 metres of its station. While Wimbledon, Ealing Broadway and Borough, each have 15 agents and Canary Wharf and Notting Hill Gate, each have 14.

Alex Gosling, chief executive of online estate agents HouseSimple says: “London high streets are literally paved with property gold. While small independent retailers are being pushed out by rising rents, estate agents are securing the best spots on the high street and filling their pockets – last year to the tune of more than £1bn in fees.

“In a buoyant property market, it’s easy for estate agents to set up shop, and by continuing to charge exorbitant fees to home sellers, they can afford to pay the rent on less than four sales a month.

“It’s impossible to walk down a local high street in London now without passing an estate agent’s window, but Londoners may still be surprised to know just how many estate agents there are across the Capital.

“More than 2,600 estate agents is a staggering number when you consider that most people now start their property searches online, and many never even venture into a high street agent’s premises. So the question Londoners may legitimately ask is, do we need so many of them?”

The following table shows just how many estate agents there are in each of the London boroughs. The table also reveals the estimated level of fees earned in each borough in 2014:

London Borough Number of estate agents in borough Fees earned by high street estate agents in Borough in 2014 (£)
Barking & Dagenham 25 11,732,303
Barnet 122 43,378,617
Bexley 52 21,433,837
Brent 60 24,425,944
Bromley 110 46,250,409
Camden 109 46,308,063
Croydon 98 37,090,855
Ealing 87 29,228,087
Enfield 92 24,095,714
Greenwich 64 30,525,873
Hackney 65 35,257,426
Hammersmith & Fulham 82 43,199,486
Haringey 58 27,270,299
Harrow 67 19,505,600
Havering 53 25,186,471
Hillingdon 69 23,260,433
Hounslow 59 22,328,806
Islington 88 36,708,945
Kensington & Chelsea 127 73,328,825
Kingston upon Thames 58 24,844,617
Lambeth 79 51,602,442
Lewisham 71 33,812,807
Merton 62 27,716,168
Newham 74 17,600,037
Redbridge 77 24,795,892
Richmond upon Thames 91 42,231,825
Southwark 92 41,537,220
Sutton 46 20,928,325
Tower Hamlets 131 49,578,205
Waltham Forest 61 24,234,321
Wandsworth 153 69,010,252
Westminster 179 70,392,543
TOTAL 2,661 1,118,800,647 


2 thoughts on “Have estate agents hijacked your high street?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I would be interested to know how fees are determined. Are they fixed by law or is there an opportunity for competition to clear the weeds?

  2. Michael Bach says:

    The Government’s latest changes to permitted development will mean a deluge of A2 uses (estate agents, bureaux de change, banks, etc) and A3 uses (cafes and restaurants) in place of shops. It will not be empty shops that are taken, but some of the best will be cherry picked. How will this revitalise our high streets?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *