Foxtons says real estate sector may improve in 2020 following elections

FILE PHOTO: A Foxtons estate agent sign is seen outside a branch in west London, Britain July 29, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

(Reuters) - Real estate agent Foxtons Group Plc FOXT.L on Thursday posted lower annual revenue, but said the market may improve for sales in 2020 following Prime Minister Boris Johnson's election win.

Analysts and surveys have suggested that Johnson’s win has boosted consumer sentiment and could encourage housing demand - pushing up home prices and helping housebuilder margins.

“It is, however, too early to predict how the market will behave during the year with structural issues like affordability and stamp duty continuing to act as a brake on sales volumes”, said Chief Executive Officer Nic Budden.

London’s long-bullish property market has been sluggish in many areas over the past year as uncertainty due to Britain’s decision to leave the European Union put off consumer spending.

However, a survey from Nationwide on Wednesday found that British house prices rose in January at their fastest annual rate since November 2018, adding to signs of a modest pick up in the housing market and broader economic confidence since December’s election.

The company posted 4% lower revenue to 107 million pounds ($140.64 million) for the year ended Dec. 31, as its transaction volumes were hurt by ongoing political uncertainty.

Earlier in the week, homebuilder Crest Nicholson Holdings CRST.L also said the outcome of Johnson's victory should provide some support for the sector in the near term.

Reporting by Samantha Machado in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr