Andrew Ross of Barclays says that whereas a year ago the concern for Rightmove shareholders was that OTM “could alter Rightmove's longer term pricing power, or erode the very high margins,” the reverse has turned out to be the case.
'Agents' Mutual and its individual agent members could face both fines and litigation'
Here’s the REAL (or not) low-down on how (C)onTheMarket was started
The consumer group HomeOwners’ Alliance has made an outspoken attack on the soon-to-launch property portal OnThe Market, set up by Agents’ Mutual.
"The creation of Agents Mutual is all about protecting estate agents’ market share and nothing about helping homeowners get a better deal” claims the group’s chief executive, Paula Higgins.
In order to succeed, OnTheMarket will need to have at least the same number of listings as Zoopla.
And there is a warning that Zoopla could go “direct to the seller”.
A new property portal owned and operated by estate agents has had a problematic launch, it has been claimed.
Australian portal Squiiz.com.au launched in October.
At launch, there were some 3,500 agencies listing on the site, with another 2,000 due to be using it shortly, according to CEO Nick Christian.
Zoopla has set its launch share price at 220p, giving a total market capitalisation of £918.8m.
The price is in the middle of the range first mooted, of 200p to 250p per share. However, the share price immediately went above the 220p mark.
Just 20% of estate agents and developers who advertise on Zoopla have taken up the discounted share price offer – with the majority passing up on the chance to make a quick 20% profit by “flipping” their shares, or to buy another tranche of shares at the same 20% discount next year.
Property website firm Zoopla has announced it intends to sell shares on the London Stock Exchange.
The Zoopla group includes the websites PrimeLocation, SmartNewHomes and HomesOverseas websites.
Zoopla is to go ahead with a flotation on the London Stock Exchange, it was announced this morning.
It will be offering discounted shares to agents and developer subscribers – with the total discount worth almost £20m.
The 20% discount is, said Zoopla, “designed to reward past and future customer loyalty”and will allow each current member to purchase shares now and next year at the discount per branch.
Robin Savage, an equities analyst at Canaccord Genuity who has a “buy” recommendation on Rightmove shares, said he would not be concerned “unless Agents Mutual does somehow persuade agents to support it – because that will affect Rightmove and Zoopla’s revenues”.
He argued that the newcomer is dominated by a handful of Britain’s biggest companies and would have trouble attracting the thousands of very small agencies who make up the majority of the market. “The big agents could function without property portals, so this is really asking independent agents to cut off one of their main routes to market. It is a brave person who decides to switch off something that brings them the vast majority of their [client] instructions.”
Rightmove and Zoopla declined to comment.