Don't write off the UK's property market quite yet: shares in Rightmove jumped this morning, after it reported a surge in mobile traffic.
The property portal said this morning that revenues had jumped 16 per cent to £107.9m in the six months to the end of June, while pre-tax profits rose to £80.6m, from £66.6m last year.
It signed up 229 new agency and new homes customers during the period, bringing its total up to 19,981, while 1.1m residential properties advertised on the site – 40 per cent more than any other UK property portal.
Meanwhile, traffic rose 15 per cent to 127.5m visits a month, giving it a 77 per cent market share – 81 per cent on mobile.
Shares jumped 7.3 per cent to 4,068p in early trading. Nice.
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Why it's interesting
If there's one sector which has been hit hard by last month's Brexit vote, it's property – with housebuilders and estate agents dropping like stones in the weeks following the referendum.
Rightmove and its arch nemesis, Zoopla, were no different: even with today's bounce, shares aren't quite up to pre-referendum levels. But they're pretty close.
Today's results are another indication that estate agents' attempt to thwart it with last year's launch of rival OnTheMarket.com has failed. The portal, which only allows its members to list properties on either Rightmove or Zoopla (a strategy which has been noted by the Competition and Markets Authority), has barely dented Rightmove.
But it did highlight some challenges. Although the results only included a week following the Brexit vote, Rightmove said it will inevitably provide a period of economic uncertainty.
"While transactions were up overall in the first half of 2016, they were lower year on year in the second quarter as a consequence of buyers having brought forward purchases in the first quarter to avoid additional stamp duty liabilities," it said.
What Rightmove said
Nick McKittrick, its chief executive, said:
While the economic outlook is more uncertain due to the result of the EU referendum, the visibility provided by our subscription model coupled with the value provided by our products and the strength of the Rightmove brand and traffic give us confidence in delivering expectations for the current year."
Tough times, but the UK's obsession with property porn will help Rightmove remain resilient.