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Online agents are more ‘friends than frenemy’ to Rightmove, says analyst


Agents will pay Rightmove an extra £85 this year, a City analyst has forecast.

Exane BNP Paribas says its prediction is above management guidance of a £70 rise in average advertising rate per advertiser.

Exane last week hosted new Rightmove CEO Peter Brooke-Johnson at an event where it was stressed that it would be ‘business as usual’.

In a note to investors after the event, Exane reported that Rightmove management also argued that “the progress of the Optimiser suite of products has improved agent relations and offers significant growth potential as penetration increases. Products such as Outside View can deliver further incremental growth”.

Exane reported that online agents are being seen as more friend than frenemy, and that Rightmove is “well placed to navigate any structure change to the estate agency industry from the rise of hybrid players”.

Hybrid agents’ market share of listings is 6%, up from 3% in March 2014.

Exane’s note gives Rightmove an ‘outperform’ rating, with a target of £50 for its shares, up from around £41.

It concludes: “In our view, Rightmove offers sustainable double digit structural growth, a rarity in European media.

“Rightmove operates as the UK’s market leading property portal and one of the country’s most visited websites, charging estate agents a subscription fee to list unlimited inventory per branch in an ‘all you can eat’ model.

“We see Rightmove, underpinned by its ‘must have’ status with estate agents, as a key winner from the recent competitive upheaval.”

Separately, Morgan Stanley has claimed OnTheMarket has lost listings.

It claimed: “In the UK, ZPG and Rightmove listings remain stable, whilst OnTheMarket continues to lose share.”

It said that since December, Rightmove has added 58,000 properties to its inventory and Zoopla has added 38,000 but that OTM’s inventory is down by 6,000.

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Source:: Online agents are more ‘friends than frenemy’ to Rightmove, says analyst