Rival site OnTheMarket slows Zoopla progress

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PROPERTY SEARCH firm Zoopla said it has seen an 11 per cent drop in the number of members advertising on its website following the launch of a rival last month.

The group, which owns websites including PrimeLocation and HomesOverseas, said the year-on-year decline to 16,967 in the four months to the end of January came after the launch of OnTheMarket.

OnTheMarket is owned by Agents’ Mutual, which is backed by estate agents such as Savills and Knight Frank, and was set up to challenge the leading two players Zoopla and Rightmove.

But OnTheMarket only allows members to use it who belong to one of the leading two websites, not both.

Zoopla makes money by charging estate agents and other property firms subscription fees to advertise their listings across its sites.

Zoopla’s founder and chief executive Alex Chesterman said: “We believe that Agents’ Mutual remains a short-term event and that its success will be determined by whether consumers engage with it.

“So far it appears to have got off to a very slow start with consumers.”

Zoopla added that during the period visits to its websites and mobile apps lifted 14 per cent to 42.3m on an average monthly basis during the period, compared to a year ago. It said January generated a record 50.5m visits.

About 60 per cent of traffic is now via mobile devices with more than 5 million app downloads.

Shares fell 3 per cent in trading.