He said demand picked up in London, as buyers returned to city centres post-pandemic and proximity to work regained importance.
Agace said: “As a result, we saw prices for houses starting to rise in London, while interest in flats also picked up significantly as Covid trends abated. With some buy-to-let landlords selling down their portfolios, however, the supply of flats increased and held back prices.
“We also saw an upturn in activity in prime central London, resulting in these offices accounting for a higher proportion of revenues.”
The agent also said it saw demand ease in country markets.
Agace added: “With supply remaining extremely limited, however, prices continued to rise in H1 as pent-up demand fed through.
“Overall, in the first half of 2022 we sold more properties than any other online or traditional agent in the postcodes that we cover.”
The figures are based on TwentyEA data.
Winkworth said it is expecting a different market as sentiment shifts next year and non-executive chairman Simon Agace predicted that the right buyer will become more important than the price.
He said: “After the exceptionally strong first half in 2021, this year’s results are encouraging and Winkworth has continued to trade well.
“As things stand, sales transactions remain brisk, although there are now signs that buyers in some areas are becoming more cautious of excessive valuations, taking note of rising inflation and interest rates and either making the most of available mortgage offers or re-assessing their timings.
“This shift in market sentiment may affect sales volumes going into 2023 and lead to a more careful pricing environment, where the most important consideration becomes choosing a buyer at a price that will ensure completion of the transaction.
“Winkworth’s tailor-made approach to handling transactions becomes of even greater importance in more mature markets such as these.”
Despite a backdrop of increasing interest rates leading to higher funding costs, the agent said its sales applicants remain high.
A note in Winkworth’s report added: “Sales applicants in July 2022 were 4% ahead of July 2021 and 26% ahead of July 2019.
“Lettings demand continues to be strong, with applicants up 7% versus July 2021 and 44% ahead of 2019. We do expect the increased cost of borrowing to have an impact on property, softening demand and slowing the price increases seen of late.
“With strong levels of employment, however, as well as the significant pent-up demand to relocate post-Covid, and as the cost of renting increases, we expect sales demand to remain strong for the remainder of the year, with prices in positive territory.”
- Results in line with expectations and show good progress against 2019 but reflect extraordinary H1 2021 comparative
- Network revenues down by 24% to £27.7 million (H1 2021: £36.4 million; H1 2019: £21.4 million)
- Network sales revenues down by 39% to £15.0 million (H1 2021: £24.6 million; H1 2019: £10.0 million)
- Network lettings revenues up by 8% to £12.7 million (H1 2021: £11.8 million; H1 2019: £11.4 million)
- Network sales revenues accounted for 54% of total network revenues (H1 2021: 68%)
- Winkworth revenues down by 18% to £4.28 million (H1 2021: £5.25 million; H1 2019: £2.55 million)
- Majority-owned offices generated revenues of £1.19 million (H1 2021: £1.04 million)
- Profit before taxation down by 46% to £1.07 million (H1 2021: £1.98 million; H1 2019: £0.58 million)
- Cash balance at 30 June 2022 of £4.11 million (30 June 2021: £4.57 million; H1 2019: £2.51 million)
- Two new franchised offices opened
- Ordinary dividends of 5.4p declared during the period (H1 2021: 4.4p)