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Rightmove profit tops pre-pandemic levels on housing momentum

Rightmove buoyant on strong market after half-year profit surge
Rightmove buoyant on strong market after half-year profit surge   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

-Rightmove’s half-year profit surpassed pre-COVID levels due to a buoyant housing market and reversal of discounts offered last year, the British real-estate portal said on Friday while projecting strong sales for the rest of 2021.

A tax break for house buyers among other government incentives helped boost the UK housing market during the pandemic, while cheap loans and a preference for larger homes from buyers also supported the housing momentum.

Rightmove said it saw healthy growth in average revenue per advertiser on its platform, and record low levels of churn or defections by real-estate agencies to other platforms, adding that it expects the rest of the year to “follow a broadly similar pattern”.

Rightmove, the UK’s No.1 portal by time spent on the platform, said ARPA jumped 63% to a record 1,163 pounds ($1,621.45) per month. In 2019, it reported monthly ARPA of 1,077 pounds.

The company had offered steep discounts last year to agency and new-home customers during the early days of the pandemic.

UK house prices have surged in recent months as customers rushed to buy homes before the tax break started tapering off from June-end, while most homebuilders have forecast robust demand to persist going forward.

The FTSE 100 firm said operating profit came in at 114.9 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, compared with 61.7 million pounds a year earlier and 108.2 million pounds reported for the first half of 2019.

($1 = 0.7173 pounds)