Hampshire based Clarke Mews Estate Agents sold to Charters

Long established local estate agent Clarke Mews, which has been trading for over 40 years has shut all three of its branches in West End, Botley and Netley, with its sales and lettings books sold to Charters Estate Agents.

Hampshire based Portland Leonard Curtis has successfully assisted in the sale of the lettings book owned by Clarke Mews Lettings Ltd, which remains solvent, and the property sales book owned by the parent company, CMS Southampton Limited, which has now been placed into liquidation.

Although the business’s turnover has generally increased every year, a multitude of market related issues has resulted in the closure of Clarke Mews.

The current owners purchased the business in 2018, but struggled with staff recruitment and retention, leading to high staff turnover. This made it very difficult to get a stable team in place to be able to build the business in the mould the new owners wanted.

Although property prices have been on the rise since 2018, part of this increase is due to the lack of supply of properties for sale, attributed initially to the uncertainty of how Brexit would impact the economy. Then the Covid19 pandemic hit which effectively shut down all of the Clarke Mews branches and slowed down the number of successful transactions being concluded. This was followed by lockdown restrictions, which led to increased costs and much lower sales volumes. At the present time, fear around the recent and future anticipated cost of living increases and interest rate rises has contributed to lower confidence in the property market, with both buyers and sellers becoming more cautious and prioritising paying the bills, rather than moving house.

clarke mews sold

In June 2022, the owners decided to seek independent advice from Portland Leonard Curtis and, as a consequence of those discussions, the owners concluded that the business was no longer viable and took the difficult decision to cease trading.

Portland Leonard Curtis were formally instructed to assist in marketing and co-ordinating the sale of the lettings and property sale pipeline, which resulted in a sale of both to Charters Estate Agents.

As a result of the actions taken by Portland Leonard Curtis, the customers interests have been protected and completion of all pending transactions will be managed by Charters.

Client Director at Portland Leonard Curtis Andrew Rumsey commented:

“Clarke Mews had a long-standing reputation in the local area and, whilst circumstances in recent years have meant that the business has struggled, the interest in acquiring the pipeline was still strong, resulting in the successful sale to Charters Estate Agents.”


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