28/03/2014 10:40 GMT | Updated 28/03/2014 13:59 GMT

Most Estate-Agent Infested UK High Street Is Hoe Street, Walthamstow

Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday March 6 File photo dates 09/08/13 of Estate Agent's boards as the Government has failed to demonstrate whether its £3.7 billion Help To Buy equity loan mortgage scheme is giving value for money, the spending watchdog has warned.

Hoe Street in Walthamstow, east London, has been dubbed "Britain's most estate-agent infested high street" after research found that nearly one in three of its shops are estate agents.

This means that Hoe Street, with 24 estate agents out of 75 retail outlets, is more crowded than Church Street, Barnes, where 11 in 32 shops are now estate agents and Dorking's High Street, Surrey, with 13 out of 42 shops.

Walthamstow MP and Labour shadow business minister Stella Creasy told HuffPostUK: "The proliferation of estate agents in Walthamstow comes at the same time there is evidence of sharp practices like double charging for fees which is unfair to both buyers and sellers of properties. Contracts like this are pushing prices up and people out of our area, as well as creating unmanageable levels of debt in our community.

Three estate-agents right next to each other on Hoe Street

"Yet frighteningly for those of us living in the eye of the Help to Buy property storm, the Government has delegated the oversight of all 500,000 agents in this country to Powys County Council showing how out of touch they are with the problems in this industry - Walthamstow's main street crammed with agents is a long way from the gaze of rural Wales!

"That's why we're campaigning to end double charging and to hold agents to account for the impact of their policies on our community- I hope the Coalition starts to finally listen before home ownership becomes too distant a dream for many more here in E17."

The rise in estate agents comes as it was revealed last month that 25,000 new estate agent jobs were created in the UK between March and June last year, while the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics found that UK property prices were up 6.8% since last January.

Russell Quirk, founder of online estate agency eMoov.co.uk, which carried out the research, said: “Current planning laws enable estate agents to be classed like banks and building societies, meaning they can move into empty bank buildings without applying for a change of use.”

“We often hear that estate agents are taking over our high streets, and our research has found that not only is it true, but it’s true to an alarming extent. Vendors need to take a stand, save money and sell their property online to preserve their high street for the years to come."

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