A City analyst has said that the power of both Rightmove and Zoopla is increasing, with 70% of consumers wanting their properties on both sites.
An even higher percentage would list their homes privately on both sites if they could.
Jefferies says consumers have a similar awareness of both sites, and that half (47%) believe agents pay over £250 to list each property.
Jefferies also says that given the chance, 79% of consumers would use the portals to list their homes directly.
The research interviewed 1,500 home owners, of whom 36% are planning to move within two years, and released the results on Friday.
The research found that 75% thought estate agency fees too high, 22% thought they were about right and just 1% thought they were good value.
Were the portals to accept private listings, 54% would happily pay over £250 to list on Rightmove, 52% would pay over £250 to list on Zoopla and 45% would pay that for a Primelocation listing.
Jefferies observes: “Zoopla Property Group owns both Zoopla and Primelocation and would therefore be the major beneficiary should the direct listing strategy change.
“Is the traditional estate agent dead? We don’t think so.
“Despite what is said around the dinner party tables … the OFT found that 88% of those who actually used a traditional agent were satisfied with the service received.
“Talk is cheap, but apparently agents sell houses.
“We also suspect that portals would rather have ongoing relationships with a few thousand agents than one-off relationships with hundreds and thousands of individual home buyers and sellers.”
In a so-called ‘deep dive’ – an in-depth analysis – of property portals, Jefferies says that Zoopla and Rightmove have equal brand awareness: 61% knew Rightmove and 60% Zoopla (including Primelocation).
Unsurprisingly, none had heard of Agents’ Mutual – although the research draws the conclusion that the fact it had no mentions was interesting “given the supposed threat of Agents’ Mutual”.
The research shows that 74% of consumers rate the portals as the most useful source of property information. Only 14% said their local estate agents’ websites were their most useful source.
Physical branches were given an 8% rating, newspapers 3% and For Sale boards just 2%.
Rightmove was seen as more useful (41% of the time) than Zoopla (33% of the time).
Of the public’s apparent wish to list directly on both Rightmove and Zoopla, the study observes: “Though at first glance it seems obvious that Rightmove and Zoopla will open up their doors to direct listing, we view this as unlikely.
“Thinking estate agents are too expensive, and abandoning them altogether, are two very different animals.”