In the same presentation yesterday at the Guild of Property Professionals conference, Anthony Codling also offered his view on the success of Rightmove and the growth in its profits, relative to the estate agents it serves.
Taking the example of estate agency group LSL, he said he was forecasting the firm’s profits to be 50% higher in 2017 than they were in 2007.
Over the same time period, its share price has risen around 30%, he said.
He then compared this to Rightmove’s profit growth over the same period and revealed, to gasps from the audience, that it had been 472%, while the value of its shares rocketed by 1,050%.
He said: “For every £1 you give Rightmove, it puts 76p in its back pocket as profit.
“Let’s say, and this might be a bit out there, the industry owned its own portal, and it had the same cost base as Rightmove, your costs would be £220 a month, not £900 a month, which is what the average agency pays Rightmove.
“I am not saying it is right or wrong — I am just an analyst and I am just showing you the figures.
“I happen to think Rightmove is the best business I have ever analysed.”
By contrast, he said he viewed the flotation of OnTheMarket later this month as a “missed opportunity”.
He asked: “How can a mutual have external investors and keep the costs low for you?
“If I were an investor I would be saying: ‘I will buy your shares and I look forward to seeing those 76% profit margins soon.’
“I wish them well but I think it was a missed opportunity for the industry.”
Anthony Codling’s firm Jefferies is the broker for Zoopla, with other clients including LSL and Countrywide.