Rightmove and Foxtons have reported their half-year figures to the City this morning - and they tell very different stories.
Rightmove’s customer numbers have hit a record high of 19,590 and its revenue has grown by 16 per cent to £93.1m.
It claims its share of traffic amongst portals has increased to 82 per cent. It says traffic has hit new highs with visits up 17 per cent to a record 110m visits per month, and pages up 13 per cent to a record 1.5 billion per month. Some 60 per cent of its traffic now comes via mobile devices.
The portal says that on the back of this record traffic, agents and developers received a record 25m enquiries from home hunters, with data showing that Rightmove is “by far the largest source of buyer, seller, tenant and landlord opportunities for them.”
Its statement continues: “In a market where nearly every instruction is hard won and there is a good probability of a successful sale or let, agents and developers are choosing to spend more on our additional advertising products with average revenue per advertiser up 10% on the same period last year, to £740 per month. With customer numbers growing to an all-time high of 19,590, Rightmove has grown its revenue by 16% to £93.1m.”
Nick McKittrick, chief executive officer of Rightmove, says: “Our share of traffic amongst the top four property websites has increased significantly as people search and research the only place with over one million properties for sale and to rent in the UK.
“Our aim has always been to help our agents and developers succeed by delivering great value marketing and building strong relationships to support their ambitions. This approach continues to serve us well as we have grown our customer base to reach an all-time high showing that Rightmove is the overwhelming site of choice, not only for Britain’s home movers, but also its property professionals.”
Meanwhile Foxtons has told its shareholders a contrasting tale with a startling 21.4 per cent drop in pre-tax profits in the first half of this year, from £23.1m to £18.1m.
Its sales commission plummeted by 10.9 per cent although lettings revenue was once again up, this time by 5.4 per cent in the six months to the end of June.
The firm says it is continuing with its expansion programme, having opened five new branches in the first six months of this year.
“Despite challenging market conditions, Foxtons has delivered a solid result against very tough comparables demonstrating the strength of our business model and our balanced approach to sales and lettings” says chief executive Nic Budden.
He says activity has picked up since the general election with more stock now coming to the market.
He says the company expects “to meet market expectations” by the end of the year.