British #3 portal OnTheMarket has today announced the launch of its Property Sentiment Index which will focus on buyer and seller confidence in the British housing market.
The index is the majority-agent-owned portal's attempt to rival Rightmove and Zoopla in terms of consumer-facing housing information and takes a different approach to that of the firm's main rivals. Whereas Rightmove and Zoopla use objective proprietary data to inform consumers and comment on the housing market, OnTheMarket will be using subjective data captured on the portal website via survey questions.
CEO Jason Tebb explained his company's approach in a Linkedin post:
"The reason for our focus on consumer confidence is due to the old but very true adage that ‘sentiment fuels markets’. In the world of residential property, data will only ever provide half the picture. In my two decades as an estate agent previous to taking my current role with OnTheMarket, I’ve personally been involved in thousands of property transactions. When showing prospective buyers around a property, my question was never ‘what do you think of the property?’. Instead, I would ask, ‘how do you feel about the property?’. That distinct difference between the empirical and the emotional is at the core of what we aim to provide as we launch this monthly index. There are of course other very well-respected house price indices already in circulation, however, we wanted to do something a little bit different in order to own our own lane."
"We’re able to create a report like this in part due to our scale, particularly when it comes to capturing consumer sentiment. Data and intelligence is one of the ‘four pillars’ of our strategy for growth and we will be utilising the insights we’ve captured alongside the feedback we receive from our on-going dialogue with agents to continue to develop our unique offer."
The response rate for the consumer surveys forming the basis of OnTheMarket's new housing index is said to be 120,000 per month and although the first monthly report is not yet available to the public, several news outlets are reporting that headline figures from July's version include:
It seems that no self-respecting property portal is without its own housing market index or regularly published report these days. We look forward to commenting on OnTheMarket's foray into the world of property portal content and its distribution and influence in our monthly Best (and Worst) Portal Content from Around the World very soon.