‘Up’ is the key word in Rightmove’s figures for the first half of 2018, released to the City and to shareholders this morning.
Agency and new homes membership of the portal are “up slightly” since the start of 2018 - to 20,410 from 20,169 a year ago - while revenue is up 10 per cent year on year and operating profit is 12 per cent up.
The average revenue per advertiser - a key measure for portals - is £76 per month up on the same period a year ago and is now £986 per month. Rightmove anticipates this ARPA will rise further during 2018 and that £76 growth is expected to rise to £80 per month by Christmas.
Within that overall ARPA figure - which also include new homes sellers - the typical High Street or Online agency now pays an average £940 a month.
Rightmove’s inventory of 1.2m properties “is a significant stock advantage compared to any other UK portal” it says, and traffic has continued to rise - visits up five per cent year on year, averaging 139m visits per month.
The typical ‘time on site’ is up four per cent year on year and averages an eye-watering 1.1 billion minutes per month in total.
"In the first half of 2018 a record 1.1 billion minutes per month were spent on Rightmove. Home hunters continue to turn to us first to search and research in the only place you can see virtually the whole of the UK property market. Our restless innovation delivers the fastest and easiest way to 'find your happy' from the 1.2m UK residential properties on Rightmove leading to consumers sending over 22 million enquiries in the period” says Peter Brooks-Johnson, chief executive officer.
“We're focused on helping our customers succeed by delivering the most significant and effective exposure for their properties and brands and also by being the largest source of high quality leads. In addition, Rightmove helps them drive operational efficiencies through software, tools and support which leverage our unique data and insight across the UK property market” he adds.
“The continued stable membership numbers and our subscription advertising model, together with the strength of the Rightmove offer for both customers and consumers, give us confidence in delivering expectations for the current year despite muted sentiment towards the UK property market."
This morning’s figures also give an insight into other Rightmove marketing and strategy activities.
It says its brand building continued on national TV, through a sponsorship partnership with Channel 4, and augmented with highly targeted outdoor media, 400 branded taxis and continued partnerships with the Evening Standard and Time Out in London.
Its market share of traffic across both desktop and mobile was 74 per cent, with the mobile component even higher.
“Rightmove keeps investing to deliver the most engaging experience for home movers and our culture of restlessness continues to drive improvement and innovation” its statement to shareholders say.
“In addition to the hundreds of updates to our platforms released each month, recent improvements and innovations include: 'Keyword sort', which allows home hunters to prioritise those properties which meet their diverse needs from the 1.2m homes for sale or rent listed on Rightmove and the alpha launch of our tenant passport, which aims to make the process of renting a property faster and more efficient by enabling potential tenants to collate in advance all the information needed for the process of applying for a tenancy.
“We also continue to create innovative tools and products for our customers to help them be more efficient.
“The number of leads from our instruction lead products, Local Valuation Alert and Rightmove Discover, in the first half of 2018 increased by nearly 30 per cent compared to the first six months of 2017 following the launch of Rightmove Discover in July 2017. Rightmove Discover uses predictive analytics to identify the most likely potential sellers in a local area within the next six months and markets to them on behalf of an agent.
“The roll out of the latest version of the market leading Surveyors Comparable Tool has begun. The tool is used by surveyors to support their valuations in the majority of all successful mortgage applications. The tool searches over 72m records to find comparable properties and is used 200,000 times per month. The tool now supports our surveyor customers' increasingly mobile ways of working both on and offline giving them flexible access to key data and allowing them to have more choice on where and when they work.”