Purplebricks’ share price plummets after BBC investigation

Purplebricks sign

Shares in online estate agent Purplebricks slumped 16% during trading yesterday as the market responded to fears of an impact from adverse coverage on the BBC.

Radio 4 programme You and Yours, which was broadcast at lunchtime, and BBC1’s evening consumer programme Watchdog both examined claims about Purplebricks.

The BBC investigation was centred on the deferred payment facility – where buyers create an agreement with Close Brothers to pay the fees – and its marketing, which has also been subject to scrutiny from the Advertising Standards Authority.

Shares in the Solihull-based company opened yesterday at 476p, but dipped below 400p before closing at 439p, reducing the company’s market value by £100m to £1.2bn. Despite the 8% fall, its share price has still had a fantastic year having opened 2017 at 141p.

In a response issued to the stock market, Purplebricks’ chief executive Michael Bruce said: “The Board and the Group are committed to the highest levels of customer service and disclosure, and we believe this is reflected in the business’ sales growth and the high levels of customer satisfaction evidenced by its 23,000 Trustpilot reviews with an average score of 9.5 and its rating of Excellent.

“The Group is the most positively reviewed estate agent in the UK. We seek to satisfy and surpass our regulatory obligations at all times, and where we find circumstances where we have fallen short we seek to rectify these situations at the earliest opportunity.

“The Purplebricks’ offering has already saved consumers in the UK tens of millions of pounds when selling their properties, and we are focused on building on this position still further.”