Rightmove’s profits and revenues surge above pre-pandemic levels on back of thriving UK housing market and end of fee discount
- The company said its annual revenue climbed by almost £100m to £304.9m
- Prospective home buyers spent a record 18bn minutes on the group’s platform
- Operating profit rose by around two-thirds on 2020 as admin costs stayed low
Rightmove saw its trade jump ahead of pre-pandemic volumes in 2021, as prospective buyers spent a record amount of time searching its platform.
The property website’s annual revenue climbed by almost £100million year-on-year to £304.9million last year, after plunging in 2020 as a consequence of providing a massive discount on the fees that it charged estate agents.
Following the expiration of that discount in the autumn of 2020 and the emergence of a flourishing housing market across Britain, the firm’s revenue surpassed its 2019 levels by 5 per cent.
Recovery: Rightmove saw its revenue recover after plunging in 2020 as a consequence of providing a massive discount on the fees that it charged estate agents
This was despite a weaker recovery by its new homes division, due to that market being completely forward-sold for the whole year and many developers reducing their digital advertising spend.
Prospective home buyers spent a record 18 billion minutes on the group’s platform, according to Rightmove, while average revenue per advertiser – a prominent measure of success – also shot up to a record £1,189 per month.
Rightmove earned additional income from stronger demand for its data services products, increased traffic to its website, and greater listings and customer numbers.
At the same time, operating profit surged by around two-thirds as the growth in revenue far outpaced the modest rise in administration costs that primarily derived from the hike in salaries and employee numbers.
Britain’s housing market has been spurred since the first coronavirus lockdown in England ended in summer 2020 by a temporary cut in stamp duty, low interest rates, and demand among Britons for more spacious housing.
This caused average house prices to rise by 10.8 per cent to £275,000 in the UK last year, according to recent data from the Land Registry Index, with growth occurring in all regions of the country.
Wales and England’s South West and South East regions all saw the largest boost in property values of at least 12 per cent each, while London saw the smallest increase.
Rightmove said it forecasts transaction levels will rebound to pre-pandemic levels as the market return to normal.
It added that it was ‘not materially impacted by the property market cycle other than in the most extreme circumstances, and we believe the UK online property advertising market will continue to grow.
Shares in Rightmove were up 4.2 per cent to 641.6p during the late afternoon on Friday, taking their value to just above where it was exactly 12 months ago.