Zoopla shares soared 10.4 per cent yesterday as the launch of rival property portal OnTheMarket (OTM), a site backed by a number of estate agents which has weighed on Zoopla shares for months, underwhelmed investors and resolved confidence in Zoopla.
“In our mind the much awaited launch of Agents’ Mutual’s OTM has not lived up to the hype,” said Jefferies analyst Anthony Codling in a note yesterday, with a 180p target price on the stock. “We appreciate that more listings may follow in the days to come because despite having more than one year to prepare, some of OTM’s customers were not ready for the big launch.”
OnTheMarket has come under fire for what its detractors say are uncompetitive terms it imposes on agents, including a rule to stop them listing properties on more than one other site. OTM boss Ian Springett said his site offered “a much-needed competitor in the online property search market”.