Rightmove continues to hold a dominant position in the online property search market after increasing its market share to 77 per cent, up from 74 per cent a year ago, in spite of fresh competition from the arrival of OnTheMarket.com at the start of 2015.
Recognising the fact that its website remains a must-see destination for buyers and renters, the number of agents listing on Rightmove rose by two per cent year-on-year to 19,752 over the year to the end of December.
The rise in the volume of agents listing on the portal helped boost Rightmove’s revenue by 15 per cent to £192.1 million in 2015, while pre-tax profit was up 12 per cent to £137.1 million.
In total, Rightmove attracted 1.3 billion visits to its website in 2015, up 18 per cent compared to a year earlier.
Rightmove’s underlying operating margin also increased from 74.6 per cent a year ago to 75.1 per cent. This comes as a blow to its competitors, especially Agents’ Mutual, which had hoped to break Rightmove’s stronghold on the market with the launch of OnTheMarket.
Zoopla announced last week that it also increased its agent members by one per cent to 12,841, indicating that Rightmove and Zoopla continue to dominate the market.
“We continue to break records at the start of 2016 having already generated over nine million leads for our customers,” said Rightmove’s Chief Executive Nick McKittrick.
Meanwhile, fresh research, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of ZPG, reveals that prompted awareness of the Zoopla brand is now in a dead heat with Rightmove, both with a national brand recognition of 79 per cent of all adults across the UK, versus 18 per cent for OnTheMarket.
Zoopla also has the highest spontaneous awareness amongst the main UK property portal brands at 39 per cent versus 31 per cent for Rightmove and two per cent for OnTheMarket.
The data also revealed that when asked ‘Which of these property websites have you ever used’ 41 per cent claimed to have used Rightmove, 33 per cent Zoopla and four per cent OnTheMarket.
Lawrence Hall (left) of ZPG said, “We’re delighted to see that top of mind awareness for Zoopla has increased again and we’re widening the gap over other websites in the space. We are driving more visits to Zoopla and continue to increase brand exposure for our members and ultimately generate more leads for agents listing on Zoopla as result of our strong market position and loyal audience.”