In a statement to the City this morning Rightmove has announced an extended period of discounting for its member agents
To support our customers through the unprecedented shut down of the UK property market due to Covid-19 we offered all our Agency and New Homes customers a 75% discount between April and July.
The government advised on 13 May that agents and new homes developers could reopen in England.
Despite the positive consumer reaction to the re-opening of the housing market, it takes three months on average for housing transactions to complete which impacts the cash flows of our agents. It will also take time for agents to build a pipeline of vendors and new sales instructions.
Given this, we have today communicated our continued support to our Agency customers in England by offering a 60% discount for August and 40% for September.
The property market in Wales started to reopen on 22 June and Scotland is set to reopen on 29 June and we will continue to support customers in these markets with a 75% discount for August and 60% for September.
The financial impact of this extended support over August and September will result in a reduction in revenue of £17m-£20m, in addition to the £65m-75m revenue impact of the discount for the period April to July.
The portal has also acknowledged a drop in membership.
Since the beginning of the year we have seen a decline in our membership base, principally from lower stock Agency customers experiencing cash flow issues, exacerbated by the severe financial shock of the Covid-19 pandemic, and a reduction in the stock-based-branch-equivalent-measure of hybrid agents.
Overall membership at 31 May of 19,054 is down 3.8% since the end of 2019.
This decline is made up of 620 fewer agency branches, together with a reduction of 135 New Homes developments.
Traditional agents have thus far generally proven to be resilient, with the number of traditional agency members only falling by around 2% since the start of the year.
Of the 620 fewer agency branches just over half are traditional agency branches with the balance being stock-based virtual branches from hybrid agencies.
Rightmove’s position as the place home hunters turn to first continues unabated with the market share of time spent according to Comscore unchanged in May at over 85%.
Rightmove now has over 50% more available stock listed for sale in the UK than anywhere else.