The bank Morgan Stanley says OnTheMarket’s listings have fallen 19 per cent in the past year.
In a note to investors issued on Friday - the day OnTheMarket plc floated on the London stock exchange’s Alternative Investment Market - Morgan Stanley said that the tracker system it applied to property portals had revealed “total OTM listings fell 19 per cent year on year.”
It also made the point that - as set out on Estate Agent Today last month - OnTheMarket’s own figures suggest its number of registered branches has fallen in recent months from 5,500 to 5,000.
OnTheMarket has been asked for its comments.
Morgan Stanley also forecasts that a further 560 agencies will return from OnTheMarket to ZPG during 2018. This is because agencies renewing their membership of OnTheMarket are no longer bound by the One Other Portal rule.
“This should provide further support for Zoopla, as agents return to the site” says Morgan Stanley.
One estate agency taking advantage of OTM abandoning its once-cherished One Other Portal rule was Winkworth; its Battersea office tweeted on its social media account on Saturday that it was the only agent in its area to be on three portals - Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
Meanwhile OTM’s first day as a plc ended with its share price down around 17 points, equivalent to 10 per cent; having opened at 165p it closed at 148p.
Observers were unimpressed.
Callum Jones, The Times' market reporter, wrote over the weekend that the OTM share price suffered "an all too predictable sinking feeling" while the Financial Times' property and housing correspondent Aime Williams noted that having stated in August that it was targeting a market capitalisation of £200m to £250m OnTheMarket ended its first day of trading with a market cap of under £90m. This prompted the FT headline "OnTheMarket fails to shine on AIM debut."
On Twitter Anthony Slumbers, PropTech analyst and Estates Gazette guest columnist, said OTM was "toast".
Fiona Orford-Williams, an analyst at Edison Investment Research, was more mixed in her appraisal. In her note to investors she said that OTM would be “pushed into loss for full year 2019and FY20, with profits modelled from FY21 on.
She adds that by long-term agent contracts, OTM has "high levels of recurring income on a scalable platform.”