Zoopla share price rises as it shrugs off competition from OnTheMarket.com to post ninth month of growth

 
Emma Haslett
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The house whisperer? The company has shrugged off threats from OnTheMarket.com (Source: YouTube)

It could have been a difficult day for Zoopla, which faced tough competition in the form of estate agent-run rival, OnTheMarket.com, when it launched at the beginning of last year.

But this morning the property portal said it had a "solid start" to 2016, with a record 58m visits in January, and an average 47m monthly visits to its websites between the beginning of October and the end of January.

For a while there, it looked like Zoopla may have ended up being a casualty of OnTheMarket, which forces its members to choose between Zoopla and Rightmove.

But today the company said it added 261 net new partners, taking its total to 16,672. At the end of January, it had a total of 12,841 agency partners - with January marking the ninth consecutive month of growth.

Earlier this morning, it also announced it had splashed £1m on four so-called proptech firms, including a peer-to-peer lender and an online mortgage adviser.

"Zoopla is leading rather than following the market as it seeks to be the 'one stop shop' for the homebuyer, the Amazon of UK residential, with services ranging across property to tradesmen to utilities," said Anthony Codling, an equity analyst at Jefferies.

" In our view two catalysts should underpin a material re-rating of Zoopla's shares in the coming months... OnTheMarket failing to live up to its own hype of being the UK's number two portal by January 2016 leading to customers returning to Zoopla and uSwitch continuing to perform ahead of expectations."

After an initial fall, Zoopla shares rose one per cent to 224.8p.
Zoopla Zoopla | mobile image

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