Its group profit before tax also saw a seven per cent dip to £24.7m from £26.7m against the same period last year.
The real estate adviser attributed this decline to “challenging transactional market conditions” particularly in Hong Kong and the UK, where it said political and economic uncertainty had “considerably reduced the volume of real estate trading activity in recent months”.
Savills UK residential revenue was down 1.5 per cent which the company said outperformed a market backdrop of considerably lower sales volumes. Its UK residential lettings revenue was up by 26 per cent.
Overall, the group’s revenue was up 16 per cent to £847m as its commercial transaction revenue growth was driven by “strong” North American performance (up 31 per cent) offsetting the reduced activity in UK and Hong Kong transactional markets.
For the rest of the year, the company said it expected its performance to be in line with the board’s expectations as it said it had a “robust pipeline” of activity.
Mark Ridley, group chief executive of Savills, said: “Given the lag effect of significant investment in recruitment in the preceding period and facing some challenging transactional market conditions, we had anticipated a slight decline in profits for the first half of 2019.
“In many markets, particularly the UK and Hong Kong, political and economic uncertainty has considerably reduced the volume of real estate trading activity in recent months, although occupier demand remains robust.”
He added: “Underlying demand for the secure income qualities of real estate remains high, but these macro uncertainties weigh on investor sentiment and make predictions in respect of near-term market activity difficult to determine with accuracy. Continued investor demand, restricted supply and expectations of continued low interest rates suggest that, if political clarity emerges, the medium- and long-term dynamics of the real estate markets in which we operate remain positive.”