Michael Bruce, founder and CEO of the international online estate agency, headquartered in Solihull, has announced that he is stepping down from the troubled London stock exchange listed company.
Since late 2017, the PurpleBricks share price has tanked from over £5 to just £1.26 yesterday, a 65% year on year decline, as the company continued to buy growth with high advertising spend.
After undergoing rapid expansion into overseas markets, including the USA, Canada and Australia, the company has confirmed that its operations in Australia will close due to “increasingly challenging” market conditions.
The online agency, which has no high street offices, charges a flat fee payable up-front to market a property. Their fees vary across the country, with greater London in the £1,399 bracket, and outside of London £899.
Property expert Henry Pryor says that online companies like Purplebricks and others have definitely made impact and increased price competition, now with an estimated market share of around 7%.
However, others have cast doubts on the model for the long-term, suggesting that eventually a merger with a traditional high street agency chain may be what’s needed.