Rightmove Release Pre-Closing Statement

The property portal Rightmove has released a statement providing a trading update relating from 1 January to 31 May 2020.

The portal lay out the steps it’s taking to continue to support agents as the housing market recovery from the pandemic continues.

The statement says:

“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.”

Offering additional services such as, online viewing tools, bespoke local market data and webinars, are other channels that the portal have deployed to help agents.

Reiterating that the property market has ‘bounced back’ from lockdown, Rightmove said:

“We have seen all ten of our busiest days ever on the platform since 13 May. We have also seen the ten days with the most leads sent over the same period. Sales agreed are currently over 10% higher in England than a year ago, albeit that some of this is the result of activity being paused due to lockdown.

“Other market indicators are also positive. New property listings are returning to the market and in the last seven days the number of properties added to Rightmove in England is over 10% higher than the same period last year. Usage of the market leading Surveyors Comparable Tool, which is used when valuing a property for a mortgage, is rapidly returning to normal with usage in England over the last week now only down 2% compared to a year ago.”

The portal then went on to explain the steps it had taken to protect itself during the pandemic. These steps included, furloughing staff, board and senior staff members taking pay cuts and deferring VAT payments to next year.

Peter Brooks-Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Rightmove, said:

“In these unprecedented times, I continue to be impressed by the ingenuity of our customers to continue operating in difficult circumstances and I thank them for the wealth of ideas which have inspired our recent innovations. I’m encouraged by the strong bounce back in home hunter demand since 13 May as England starts to move again and we look forward to welcoming our Scottish and Welsh customers back to the market. Rightmove is committed to continuing to innovate to make home moving easier and to play our part in supporting our customers’ long-term success.

I‘m immensely proud of the dedication and resilience shown by our employees throughout our business in responding to the challenging circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. The transition to remote working has been seamless and across the organisation our teams have worked tirelessly to ensure that we’ve been able to support our customer base and respond quickly to the changing needs of home hunters at these times.”


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