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pauldrayton

Rightmove - Controlling the Market?

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Hi all,

My first post on this forum and I write as somebody who has worked in the property industry all of my career in different guises.

My concern is that Rightmove has now become so big and so powerful that they can dictate the direction of the market.

Not only does every agent worth using have to use Rightmove to list their properties for sale, but Rightmove offer a number of 'behind the scene' services to banks/mortgage lenders, including an 'auto-valuation' tool.  They claim that this is the most accurate method to value a property based on their algorithms and almost all lenders now use it to value properties when mortgage applications are made.  So nearly all mortgage lending (other than for niche properties) is based on Rightmove's figures, and it is done via an algorithm rather than a surveyor's opinion.  That algorithm does not take into account external economic data which could or should be affecting prices. If Rightmove report an increase, then prices increase because lenders rely on that information.

It seems dangerous to me having one company almost in control of the entire UK housing market.

In a recent discussion with one of Rightmove's account managers, they told me that in their market reports they highlight all the positives they can and limit negativity as much as possible.

Worrying in my opinion, I think this particular portal has got too influential.

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I have heard about this...someone I know remortgaged over the phone...the lender looked on some auto valuation system which said his house was worth x and had increased by y and so he could now have a lower IR mortgage because the LTV ratio had magically improved...what could possibly go wrong...? 

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The old monopoly chestnut.

What's the problem? If RightMove attempts to falsely raise prices, buying volumes will reduce, potentially to zero. Anyone foolish enough to swallow the KoolAid will be left holding a deep bag.

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