"Rightmove is becoming even more popular with the British home moving public. Our share of traffic amongst the top four property websites has increased significantly as more people search and research the only place with over one million properties for sale and to rent in the UK.
"We continue to innovate and invest to make Rightmove even more compelling to home movers and advertisers with tools such as our Valuation range app and recently launched School Checker.
"Our aim has always been to help our agents and developers succeed by delivering great value marketing and building strong relationships to support their ambitions. This approach continues to serve us well as we have grown our customer base to an all-time high showing that Rightmove is the overwhelming site of choice, not only for Britain's home movers, but also its property professionals."
Here are the core pieces of the first half year financial performance announcement.
The first half of 2015 has seen us advance in our mission to empower the UK's decisions around property. At the core of our strategy is a property advertising business of unrivalled quality, and our disciplined focus has seen us strengthen our position further.
Our lead in the number of agents and properties advertised has substantially increased and we remain the only place to search and research virtually the whole property market in the UK. The number of Agency and New Homes customers advertising on Rightmove has increased by 1% since the start of the year to a record 19,590. This increase in customers, coupled with our competitive strength, has extended our property stock advantage significantly and consumers can now view 50%(1) more UK residential properties on Rightmove than on any other portal.
Our audience lead has substantially increased with a record number of people visiting, spending more time than ever on our platforms. These records are driven by a number of factors including our brand strength, our innovation and our significant property stock advantage. Visits increased 17% year on year to an average of 110m per month (H1 2014: 94m) and pages increased 13% to an average of 1.52bn per month (H1 2014: 1.35bn). Consistent with being a multi-platform digital leader, almost 60% of time spent on Rightmove is on mobile devices. With this substantial increase in traffic our share of the top four property sites is 5% higher at 82% (2) (June 2014: 77%).
On the back of this record traffic the number of leads we generated for our customers increased by 14% to an average of 4.2m per month (H1 2014: 3.7m). The quality of our leads continues to stand out as we generate over 80% of sales for agents compared to our nearest competitor and therefore home sellers are four times more likely to find a buyer on Rightmove.
Rightmove's brand awareness is extremely high; however the true strength of our brand is revealed by the depth of connection that the public have with it. Rightmove is seen as indispensable support for all those looking to make decisions around property, highlighted by our top 10 UK website ranking and an independent survey(3) showing that over 90% of home sellers expect their property to be marketed on Rightmove. We are trusted and knowledgeable and support home movers, enabling them to feel confident, inspired and in control. To cement our position further we have continued to invest in our 'find your happy' advertising campaign which connects with the strong positive emotions that moving home often generates and reflects our position at the heart of it.
Our brand building has focused on national TV, through our 'always on' partnership with Channel 4, and outdoor advertising as well as online, mobile and social media. We continue to target London through additional outdoor media, our 400 branded taxis and our partnership with Time Out. Our campaigns so far this year have focused on highlighting the speed of our 'Instant Property Alerts' and the benefit to renters in the 'race to rent' and the fact that we have hundreds of thousands more properties than any other website.
Our culture of restlessness continues to drive improvement and innovation. In addition to the hundreds of updates to our platforms we release each month, and hot on the heels of our Valuation range app, we launched the much anticipated Rightmove School Checker which is the focus of our latest advertising campaign. This new tool helps people find the right home near their preferred school by displaying valuable schools information giving home movers yet another reason to turn to Rightmove first. Looking forward, we will be pressing home our advantage with a new search results page, integration of our Valuation range app into our main app and mortgage content to support home movers in their journey.
To support our customers more, we introduced the next wave of market share analysis tools within our popular market intelligence suite 'Rightmove Intel' and launched a version for the lettings market. These tools have become embedded in the industry over many years of use, helping our customers make better informed decisions and driving business efficiencies. The new functionality, greater flexibility and unique 'whole of market' view has doubled agent use year on year.
Our customers have invested more in our additional advertising products and packages to drive their brand exposure and gain a competitive edge. Average revenue per advertiser increased by 10% with the majority of the growth driven by customers spending more on these products and packages.
Agency ARPA was up 10% year on year at £703 per office per month as a result of further adoption of additional advertising products and price increases. Spending by agents increased across our entire range of additional advertising products and 67% (June 2014: 64%) of independent agents now subscribe to one of our product packages, where for a minimum monthly spend they benefit from discounts across our range of products.
The number of agency offices is 2% higher than at the start of the year at a record high of 17,122 (31 December 2014: 16,843), with the growth being driven by an increase in resale office numbers.
New Homes ARPA increased by £72 year on year to £992 mainly from increased spend on additional advertising products. The number of developments is broadly unchanged since the start of the year at 2,468 (31 December 2014: 2,461).
Our Overseas advertising business grew strongly with audience figures setting new records with over 50 million searches in the period, up 33% on the first half of 2014 and customer numbers up over 15% since the start of the year at 2,378. Rightmove now has over 200,000 overseas homes advertised for sale, up over a third on a year ago, with particular growth in popular British destinations such as Spain and the USA.
Our Commercial advertising business continues to grow with 50,000 properties now advertised. It has quickly established itself as the UK's largest commercial property portal with engagement up strongly in the period as the number of commercial enquiries grew 25% year on year.
Rightmove's Data Services business provides insight, analysis and risk assessment tools to businesses who are making decisions around property, particularly valuation and investment. Our property comparison and background check toolset is now the de facto standard for valuers in the surveying industry, used by all leading surveying firms in their day to day operations. Each month over 100,000 comparable reports are completed by surveyors using Rightmove's tools. All these tools and services are based on the bedrock of our uniquely powerful property dataset, providing our customers with constantly updated property insight and information across the UK.