Rightmove Predicts Booming Year for the UK Housing Sector
The past 12 months brought the kind of property market activity that has not been seen for some time in the UK. House prices have hovered at all-time highs, demand has outstripped supply by a clear mile and the return of the 95% LTV mortgage was welcomed by many thousands of first-time buyers.
Now, Rightmove believes that 2022 could be another incredible year for the housing sector. Last year, the company recorded the most explosive performance on the housing market since going into business 21 years ago. In turn, Rightmove now believes that housing market activity will return to pre-pandemic levels before the end of the year, with no sign of a slowdown in sight.
Even with inflation at a 30-year high, Rightmove believes that unprecedented demand for quality homes in all key regions of the UK will ensure the sector maintains its momentum. The market’s performance is also set to be bolstered and perhaps even accelerated by the rapid removal of all remaining pandemic restrictions.
Record Performance at Rightmove
According to the latest figures published by Rightmove, the company achieved a year-on-year profit increase of an impressive 67%, hitting an annual pre-tax profit of £226m for the year ending 31 December 2021.
During the same time, total revenues were up by approximately 50% to reach £305 million. Full year revenues were up 5% compared to pre-pandemic figures in 2019, and a huge 48% higher than recorded at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
“As the market normalises, we expect the number of transactions to return to pre-pandemic levels,” Rightmove said in a statement.
“We remain alert to the macro environment, but Rightmove is not materially impacted by the property market cycle other than in the most extreme circumstances.”
An operating margin of 74% was reported by Rightmove for the period. The FTSE 100 company collects most of its revenues from real estate agents and customers who pay to advertise their homes via its online channels.
Rightmove predicted further growth in revenues as the company continues to scale back the discounts it had been offering during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage buyers and sellers to make their respective moves.
Shares in the company were up an impressive 5.3% in London early last Friday morning.
A Generally Positive Outlook
The housing market in general is predicted to record a stellar performance throughout the year, with average house prices having once again increased 9.5% in February compared to the same month in 2021. Average UK property prices are once again hovering at all-time highs in most regions.
On the whole, the average purchase price of a home in the UK is now just under £349,000 – up almost 10% since the same time last year, which is the highest annual rate of growth recorded in almost a decade.
In just two years, average UK house prices have increased by around £40,000, effectively pricing millions of would-be buyers entirely out of the market.