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Rightmove reports robust activity from home-hunters despite pressure on finances

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People spent 1.5 billion minutes a month browsing on Rightmove (Andrew Matthews/ PA) (PA Archive)
People spent 1.5 billion minutes a month browsing on Rightmove (Andrew Matthews/ PA) (PA Archive)

Rightmove saw its revenue and profits increase in the first half of the year, as it said activity on its site has been resilient in recent months.

The UK’s largest online property platform took in £162.7 million in sales over the six months to 30 June, up 9% on 2021.

It came as Rightmove said it has seen little reduction in sales activity and demand despite growing economic uncertainty and rising living costs in recent months.

The housing market also cooled after an exceptionally busy 2021 but the platform still saw its operating profits jump by 6% to total £121.3 million.

If the housing market goes into a tailspin, Rightmove will feel it, but probably a lot less than estate agents and housebuilders

Charlie Huggins, head of equities at Wealth Club

Home-movers are increasingly turning to digital platforms for both buying properties outright and finding rental properties, Rightmove said.

Peter Brooks-Johnson, Rightmove’s chief executive, said: “Despite the housing market cooling slightly, activity on our platform was significantly higher than in the pre-pandemic market of 2019, with home-hunters using Rightmove for 1.5 billion minutes every month.”

Rising interest rates and soaring inflation could stall activity in the housing market, experts have warned.

But platforms like Rightmove could be less impacted by turbulence in the market as estate agents rely on the platform to display properties.

“Rightmove’s revenues aren’t directly linked to the number of houses bought and sold, or even to house prices,” Charlie Huggins, head of equities at investment broker Wealth Club said.

“Instead, revenue comes from estate agents paying a fixed subscription to list all their properties on its site. As long the estate agent remains in business, they will continue to pay their Rightmove subscription.

“If the housing market goes into a tailspin, Rightmove will feel it, but probably a lot less than estate agents and housebuilders.”

Rightmove added that increased its staff salaries this year, contributing to more than £5 million in additional underlying operating costs.

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