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Estate agents are taking over London’s high street at a rate of almost 5 a week

PUBLISHED: 18:17 17 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:37 18 February 2016

HousingSimple CEO Alex Goslings says “London high streets are literally paved with property gold”

HousingSimple CEO Alex Goslings says “London high streets are literally paved with property gold”

Archant

Figures released this week have shown a big year on year increase in the number of estate agents opening in London, with Westminster and Islington seeing the most

There has been a surge in the number of estate agents opening on London’s high streets, with the most marked increase seen in central and north London boroughs.

A report produced by online estate agents HouseSimple.com calculated that 220 new branches have opened since February 2015, a rate of one every 1.6 days or over four a week.

Westminster has seen the most dramatic rise in the capital, with the number of estate agents up 27.4 per cent compared to last year, from 179 to 228.

Islington came a close second with a 26.1 per cent increase in estate agents offices, up 111 from 88.

In Camden the rise was less steep, up 120 from 109, an increase of 10.1 per cent.

This was still above average for London as a whole, where the average increase was just 8.3 per cent in the past 12 months.

Alex Gosling, the CEO of HouseSimple.com said: “It’s not surprising, when just one office can make hundreds of thousands of pounds in fees in a year. London high streets are literally paved with property gold.”

In 2014 London estate agents made over £1.1 billion in fees alone.

But at almost 3,000 branches in the capital as a whole he admitted “it’s a staggering number.”

The proliferation of online estate agencies, however, could foreshadow an end to the agency fee gold rush.

Earlier this month an 18 bedroom Westminster mansion worth £24 million went on sale via My Online Estate Agent.

The seven floor mansion features marble staircases, ornately decorated ceilings and a view of Buckingham Palace.

By paying the one-off online fee of just £546, the owner has saved themselves up to £400,000 in estate agents fees.

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