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City analyst says OnTheMarket growth has "all but dried up"

At least one City analyst has given a frosty response to a statement from OnTheMarket claiming that the new portal’s membership is “much higher” than anticipated.

The OTM statement says it has “well over 6,000 offices” of which 90 per cent - that is, 5,400 - are contracted; the statement suggests that around 600 others have signed non-binding letters of intent. 

OTM says its target is to reach 7,500 members - combining those contracted and those with letters of intent - at which point the portal claims it will have reached a “tipping point.”


However, in a detailed note to investors, City investment consultancy Credit Suisse is sceptical that the claims actually constitute progress for the challenger portal.

Credit Suisse has told investors that: “5,400 members is in line with recent unofficial estimates we have heard from the market and is in-line with our expectations. We believe it shows that growth in contractual membership has all but dried up. In March 2015 the site had 5,000 members - meaning the group has added 400 contractual members in around eight months, that is 50 per month. “

It goes on: “With this likely front-end loaded and aided by market growth, we believe that net movement of agents between ZPG and OTM is now likely flat [sic].”

The consultancy is scathing in its description of the non-binding letters of intent as “a publicity stunt”

It also says that data from digital analytics company Comscore suggests that OTM has around nine per cent of the monthly unique audience of Zoopla and and eight per cent of its daily audience. 

“We would further highlight the average OTM visitor spends circa 40 per cent less time on site than a ZPG visitor. ... October Comscore data should be out within the next week. We will continue to monitor this but overall see traffic as uncompetitive.”

  • icon

    OTM say they have "well over" 6,000 offices - How many is "well over"? I imagine that "well over" a few hundred of them might fear a letter from the CMA. With new members drying-up maybe now might be a good time for them to review restrictive practice, governance and pricing and get back to the whole reason agents supported initiative in the first place - Which was to take control (and ownership) of agents portal presence and arrest spiralling charges from RM and Z. - Guessing OTM unlikely to do any of that so Maybe now is the time for a new agents portal to do just that?

  • Simon Shinerock

    In his press release Ian Springett referred to OTM's detractors as 'Haters' The urban dictionary defines a 'Hater' as someone unhappy with someone else's success. I think this characterisation misrepresents the position of those of us who refuse to drink the Kool-Aid.

    I for one certainly don't feel that way at all and yet I strongly disagree with the core strategy of OTM. When Agents Mutual started out they said they wanted to 'disrupt' the market. Once again I think IS had some trouble with his dictionary definitions and in this case confused 'Disrupt' with 'Divide' if this is the case he may not be that great at English but he has definitely achieved his goal, the market is now firmly divided with the position of the traditional high street agent significantly weakened and the case for online agency significantly strengthened.

    It may even be that OTM has single handedly tipped the balance and led to the massive investment going into the likes of Purple Bricks et al. So like a bumbling Inspector Clusoe IS struts and poses, either believing his own hype, or not, we may never know. The difference is that unlike the loveable Peter Sellers character, IS is not acting out a comedy script, rather he is competing with the Kardasians, made in Chelsea and The only way is Essex for the prize of best reality TV farce, except of course IS is not on TV, perhaps he should be.

  • icon

    If this was a Plc the city would not allow"well over" as a guide to growth they would want factually firm figures and if we'll over was actually significant or factually meaningful springer would actually give that number but surely you boys aren't going to allow being led by the make believe of letters of intent! I withdrew mine on account of progress of an overseas portal paid by me for the high end founders and so will other "letters of intent writers" once their brains reingage.

  • icon

    A lot of comments from a lot of people with a lot of time on their hands ??

  • icon

    I still think OTM is a ploy by RM to reduce Zoopla's share of the market , increase their own and ultimately increase their prices!

    Has to be - as that's what's happened!


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