MARKET REPORT: Rightmove shares leap as housing revival starts with property search site notching up 65 days of record traffic
After months cooped up at home during lockdown, many Britons are reappraising their living arrangements.
So many, in fact, that property search site Rightmove notched up 65 days of record traffic since the housing market came out of hibernation on May 13.
Rightmove’s turnover and profit, predictably, sank between January and June when compared with 2019. Revenues fell by more than a third to £95million, while profits dived from £108million to £62million over the six-month period.
Housing revival: Property search site Rightmove notched up 65 days of record traffic since the housing market came out of hibernation on May 13
But shares in the group leapt 9.1 per cent, or 52.8p, to 630.6p after it said membership numbers – of estate agents who pay to show properties on the site – have only fallen by 3.3 per cent to 19,158.
It offered a 75 per cent discount to customers between April and June and extended this until the end of September – which should ensure it manages to keep hold of agencies if the recent ‘mini boom’ in house prices continues.
According to data from Halifax, prices rose 1.6 per cent in July as the market reacted to news of the Chancellor’s stamp duty holiday.
A surge from pent-up demand was expected after the property market ground to a halt for several months – and there has been a noticeable increase in people searching for bigger houses in more rural areas as people ‘reassess their priorities’.
Stock Watch -Codemasters
Video game developer Codemasters Group accelerated following the release of Fast & Furious Crossroads.
Slightly Mad Studios, which AIM-listed Codemasters bought last year, created the game, the latest in the phenomenally successful racing franchise that stars Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez.
It was originally going to be released alongside the film of the same name, but this has been pushed back to next year.
Shares rose 1.2 per cent, or 4.5p, to 377.7p.
Chief executive Peter Brooks-Johnson is trying to stay pragmatic, and yesterday said it is ‘hard to predict how sustained the increase in activity will be’ over the rest of this year.
Rightmove’s surge almost sent it to the top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard – but it was beaten by Hikma Pharmaceuticals.
Hikma has started making Gilead’s Covid-19 drug remdesivir under contract in Portugal to increase global supply. It’s one of just two medicines shown to help hospitalised patients in clinical trials.
Hikma also hiked its dividend by 14 per cent (to 12p per share) after first-half profits jumped 21 per cent to £209million.
The news was music to the ears of dividend-deprived investors and put a rocket under Hikma’s stock, sending it soaring 10.9 per cent, or 236p, to 2393p.
Rightmove and Hikma’s gains weren’t seen across the wider stock market though with the FTSE 100 climbing just 0.1 per cent, or 5.24 points, to 6032.18, while the FTSE 250 finished up 0.8 per cent, or 143.55 points, at 17622.93.
The Footsie was nudged into the black by US employment figures that showed almost 1.8m people were added to payrolls in July – a much bigger rise than economists had been expecting.
This meant the unemployment figure fell from 11.1 per cent to 10.2 per centWall Street rose on the figures, with both the Dow Jones and Nasdaq climbing in early trading.
Traders across the world were also encouraged by figures released earlier in the day that suggested a rebound might be on the way for the global economy.
German and French manufacturers both reported seeing a surge in demand – with industrial production in the former rising by almost 9 per cent in June – and that exports were starting to pick up.
And China released buoyant trade numbers showing exports had risen sharply in July – by 7.2 per cent compared with the same month of last year.
Rolls-Royce tipped into the red following reports that activist investor Value Act has sold out of its entire stake in the struggling engineering group.
The San Francisco-based group is thought to be annoyed by serial restructurings at the firm since it took a holding in 2015 – and its exit comes shortly before Rolls is expected to raise around £1.5billionn by selling new shares.
Footsie-listed Rolls fell 0.2 per cent, or 0.5p, to 252.6p.