Times are tough in the UK market at the moment and it seems to me that the best value creating play would be a merger of rightmove and propertyfinder and therefore increase the gap between rightmove and the rest of the market.
This article follows up on our exploration of consolidation options in the UK market.
So lets explore the logic around why this move could make sense.
rightmove.co.uk is the clear market leader in the UK. According to ComScore it had 2.4m UV's in September - 1.1m or 84% more than second place propertyfinder.com. However it is coming under pressure from a variety of sources including agents who are either ceasing to trade, other agents who are finding paying the monthly subscription challenging, and from the new age competitors who are offering free advertising models.
propertyfinder.com (as a group) is the second most visited site in the UK and along with its sister sites of hotproperty.co.uk and ukpropertyshop.co.uk, has solid traffic in the market. According to ComScore, in September the propertyfinder network (propertyfinder.com (1.3m), ukpropertyshop.co.uk (0.4m) and hotproperty.co.uk (0.3m)) had 1.7m UV's.
From a rightmove perspective, the acquisition (it wont be a merger) of the propertyfinder network makes strategic sense.