Portals are doing nothing to address concerns about buying and selling homes, but are simply profiteering.
The accusation comes from Anthony Codling, former City analyst at Jefferies and who now heads up new property firm Twindig.
Codling said that based on research he carried out earlier this month, customer trust in the buying and selling process is “severely lacking”.
In his survey of 300 consumers, 94% of buyers and sellers criticised lack of trust, and 100% of buyers and over 75% of sellers wanted more transparency.
Codling said: “As we entered the global financial crisis, Rightmove’s operating margin was 52% and it kept on rising throughout the crisis. As Covid-19 started to spread around the world it was 76%.
“It’s not just Rightmove at fault either, as the portals scramble to beat each other with tokenistic cuts.
“It only goes to show that portals are putting profit ahead of people.”
He said that Twindig, which will provide admin management tools, will put estate agents back in control of their data, and households in control of renting, buying and selling.
Codling said: “Portals do not sell property, people sell property.
“Estate agents and house builders have done, are doing and will continue to play the most important role in the cycle of renting, buying and selling homes. Twindig is here to support the industry rather than cream excess profits from it.”
He said that Twindig’s analysis has “identified” the missing millions – including 1m home owners looking to sell but not yet on the market and 2m landlords who do not currently use an agent, plus 7m households who already know where they want to live next.
He said: “We founded Twindig because property is too important to play games with.”
Codling was CEO of Rummage4Property after quitting his long-standing City analyst job, but left after a year saying that he and founder Robert May had different ambitions for the business.