May 2019

Poor old Purple Bricks

Another busy week in Japan. The weather is heating up nicely. Soon though it will be too hot to move!

This week I read, with some sadness the decline of Purple Bricks. For those of you reading that live outside the UK, a quick introduction to Purple Bricks. Started in 2012, at the lowest point in the UK property market, this online real estate agent changed the way people in the UK bought and sold property.

After 5 phenomenal years of growth Purple Bricks was floated on the London stock exchange in 2017 with a valuation of £240 million. Purple Bricks went on to expand in Australia, the US, and Canada. This rapid growth, ultimately would bring about the near downfall of the company.

Though never a shareholder, I followed Purple Bricks as the company the founders disrupted a well-established market in the UK. Consumers were desperate for another option when selling their homes and Purple Bricks was the silver bullet. The initial success and growth in the UK lead to overseas expansion which, in the end, the company could not support. Not quite all over for the company but some hard work ahead to pull things around.

Here at JPI we always talk about the slow, low-risk opportunity for wealth creation that property brings. Purple Bricks was in the real estate sector and should have learnt form the product they were selling. Slow down, due diligence first and then proceed slowly. I hope we see Purple Bricks bounce back, they offered an option instead of the expensive high street real estate agents but only time will tell.

You can read the whole article here and find out more about Purple Bricks by googling them.