November 30, 2016 / 8:40 AM / a year ago

UPDATE 1-Zoopla profits surge, Telford sees growth despite Brexit uncertainty

(Adds quotes, details, Telford Homes)

LONDON, Nov 30 (Reuters) - Property website Zoopla posted a 38 percent rise in full-year profit on Wednesday and builder Telford Homes said its sales had increased despite the uncertainty following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

London builder Telford said it would maintain its anticipated growth and profit forecasts, in the latest sign that the property market is weathering the effect of the June 23 referendum.

Zoopla, which posted profit of 46.2 million pounds ($58 million) in the year to the end of September in line with analysts’ forecasts, said it was comfortable with expectations for 2017, when a further rise is anticipated.

Chief Executive Alex Chesterman said that the business, which acquired estate agent website design and hosting business Technicweb, operated in a number of sectors, allowing it to withstand any impact from Brexit.

“Our business, which is not just diversified across sales and rentals but is also diversified across marketing and software and a variety of other services, remains relatively unaffected,” he said.

He also suggested that rental growth might outweigh any slowdown in sales and that Zoopla had continued to win back agents from rival OnTheMarket.

Ahead of the June 23 referendum, then finance minister George Osborne said British house prices would fall 10 percent to 18 percent if the country voted to leave the European Union.

Some surveys have shown the housing market has cooled in recent months but mortgage lender Halifax said earlier this month that house prices had surged unexpectedly in October, countering signs of a slowdown over the last six months.

Properties prices have fallen significantly in the very centre of London at the top end of the market, where Telford Homes does not build and Zoopla has a small proportion of its business.

$1 = 0.8019 pounds Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by James Davey and Louise Heavens

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