One industry figure believes there is little risk of the property portal being unseated from its dominant position
Thursday 18 Apr 2019 Author: Tom Sieber

The latest asking price data from property listings site Rightmove (RMV) for April indicates signs of recovery in the UK housing market.

Rightmove asserted that the 1.1% monthly rise was unusually strong for the start of the spring selling season (versus 0.4% in 2018, 0.9% in 2017 and 1.5% in 2016).

Ian Wilson, chief executive of The Property Franchise Group (TPFG:AIM) – one of the UK’s largest estate and letting agent
franchise businesses – says he believes Rightmove’s own position in the property sector is firmly entrenched.

This is despite suggestions its leading status might be threatened by estate-agent backed rival OnTheMarket (OTMP:AIMamid industry disquiet over its rising fees.

Wilson’s view informed a decision to agree a long-term deal with Rightmove on behalf of his franchisees in February. He says: ‘As much as agents like to complain about Rightmove we don’t think they are going anywhere for the next three years.’

He sees Zoopla as being more vulnerable to any threat posed by OnTheMarket. The Property Franchise Group recently reported robust annual results (8 Apr) with revenue up 11% to £11.2m and excluding exceptional items pre-tax profit was up 17% year-on-year to £4.3m.

This followed a similarly strong performance from its close peer Belvoir Lettings (BLV:AIM) which reported a 21% rise in revenue and a 40% increase in pre-tax profit for 2018.

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