BREAKING NEWS – 5 top stories 05/02/2021
RIGHTMOVE HIKES PRICE TO AT LEAST ONE AGENT BY 11% AND MAYBE GAINS MILLIONS
We have had sight of a notice from Rightmove that the baseline monthly subscription fee will be rising by 11.27%, a £140 monthly hike, as agents have had such a bumper year in 2020.
Doing the mathematics if this type of rise is going on across the network, given they make a 74% gross profit on revenue of 294M in 2019, this hike could be worth over 20M and possibly much more. So Rightmove ‘lost’ 30M not charging agents during lockdown, now it seems they want the agents to fill that gap, so shareholders will get their normal dividend.
Rightmove when approached did not deny it was a universal price hike, we would be interested to hear how many agents have had a recent notice demanding an extra payment per month, as ever just email me at [email protected].
Between 2016 to 2019, Rightmove made about 74% gross profit for each of those years, so in 2019, from a turnover of 290M there was pre-tax profit of 213M. Reported sentiment is that a boom for agents in 2020 should be a boom for Rightmove, and by hiking the baseline fee to each agent by, 8% to 12% that is possibly adding anything from 15M to 20M plus in turnover in 12-months, or 5% to 7%.
GOVERNMENT STILL PUSHING FOR A DIGITAL ID THAT FITS ALL HOMEMOVERS
I was in the government meeting last week, where soundings were taken from Stuart Young, Etive Technologies and Glynis Frew Hunters Group about the compelling need to stop the duplication of people needing to prove their ID when doing property.
When selling buying letting or being a tenant, at multiple junctures these people have to ‘prove’ their ID for solicitors, lenders, letting agents etc, if there was just one UK Digital ID for all of this – then time saved would be considerable, and the advantages especially given the present bottleneck on sales is easy to see.
There will be more work by Stuart Young who is spearheading the inniative in coming months, and we even had a lord who contributed to the meeting, who gave some valuable insight as well as informing us he was a landlord. Which just shows that everyone is touched by property in some form every day, and maybe simplifying processes with digital, safeguarded systems is a route forward.
HAS THE BUBBLE BURST FOR MOVEBUBBLE?
Despite huge amounts of cash being injected into this big Tech beast, the departure of Aidan Rushby the long-term CEO, is a signal to many that maybe this company has run out of ‘runway. Though having every opportunity for growth, its propensity to pivot, has shown without a core objective and plan to deliver that objective, years pass, and real profitability can be elusive. We hope that a new CEO can change things.
NO NEWS ON STAMP DUTY – BUT TAPERING CONCEPT IS BEING TALKED UP
No white smoke from the Vatican city yet, but the smoke signals that industry and parliamentary insiders are giving us is that a favourite – option – might be a tapered approach to the dead stop 31st of March Deadline, we will keep you posted.
HALIFAX LATEST LENDER TO SAY BUYING SENTIMENT IS COOLING
The CEO of the Halifax has commented following a review of their lending analytics in January that,
‘some early signs that the upturn in the housing market could be running out of steam, with the annual rate of house price inflation cooling to its lowest level since August… Industry figures for agreed sales remain well above pre-pandemic levels but new instructions to sell have decreased noticeably, and total stock held by estate agents has risen to its highest level since before the EU referendum in 2016.’ Russel Galley.
If you have a view – please let us all know by emailing me at [email protected] – Andrew Stanton Executive Editor – moving property and proptech forward.