Shares in Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agent group, have fallen nearly 30% after it issued its second profit warning this year.

Countrywide, which has brands including Bairstow Eves and Gascoigne Pees, said it expected first-half earnings to be about £20m lower than last year.

“We do not expect this shortfall to be recovered in the second half,” it said.

It said conditions in the housing market continued to be “subdued” and deals were taking longer to complete.

The firm has been hit by a slowdown in the housing market, as well as the rise of online agents such as Purplebricks.

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