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Rightmove market position boosted by ‘estate agent reliance’

Agents may have been slightly put out by Rightmove reporting a boom in user fees despite a drop in members, but analysts and commentators backed the results.

The portal revealed in its 2022 annual results released this morning that its ARPA was up 11% annually to £1,314 per month.

Total membership remained relatively flat at 19,014, with agency branches down 178 and new homes up 223.


Its revenue for 2022 was up £27.7m to £332.6m, while operating profit rose 7% annually to £241.3m.

These figures may well irk agents who sometimes feel hikes in subscription costs for the portal are unjustified, especially amid the cost of living crisis.

The results failed to bolster its share price as it was in line with analyst expectations.

But Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said: “Rightmove has become the Google of the UK’s property market, with the business now the starting point for anyone even thinking about moving home. 

“Estate agents depend on it, and it’s the public’s first port of call for a ‘through the keyhole’ look behind closed doors that was unimaginable a generation ago.

“Putting that dominance into practical terms, the 16.3bn minutes users spent on the site last year is equivalent to every man, woman and child in country spending four hours scrolling through its listings, even if rising interest rates and the cost of living crisis means it’s getting harder to actually buy.

“Although traffic on the site wasn’t quite as busy as last year, when pent-up demand after pandemic lockdowns unleashed a wave of buyers, Rightmove still increased revenues and profits, with users spending more as online continues to disrupt the traditional high street estate agency model."

Palmer added that even the mini-Budget sending shockwaves through the market as interest rates soared didn’t derail Rightmove, with agents having to work harder for sales, and needing to promote properties more, driving even more interest in the online portal.

She added: “Property prices may be softening but with estate agents so dependent on Rightmove, the company’s got a place in the market that allows it to weather downturns and a model that means its future is assured unless another competitor offering comes along and ends its dominance.”

David Reynolds, analyst at Davy, described the Rightmove model as resilient, adding that the introduction of Johan Svanstrom as new chief executive breaks the mould of “corporate successions” and brings “something different.”

Svanstrom is a former chief executive of travel booking website Expedia Group Inc and McDonald's Corp and replaced Peter Brooks-Johnson this month.

  • icon

    I agree that Rightmove has become the Google of the property market in the UK and its influence looks set to persist for the foreseeable future. It must be recognised that Rightmove does actually save agents a great deal of time and money because it enables potential buyers to sift through available properties easily (the combination of photos, floor plans and location maps at the touch of a button would have seemed like science fiction not too long ago), effectively eliminating the cost of brochures and significantly reducing the number of speculative viewings (which also reduces the inconvenience to and the disappointment of sellers).

  • Grant Alexson

    This is true of all the portals and agents own web-sites. Chronic unjustifiable overcharging and profiteering.

  • Hit Man

    Who is Rightmove, never used them and Ive been an estate agent for 25 years?


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