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Property website bucks UK housing crisis

Web boom as estate agents die

Britain's largest residential-property website Rightmove has seen its first-half profits surge, while all around it estate agents go to the wall in the current UK housing crisis.

The company's pre-tax profits for the first half of the year climbed 63 percent to £19.8m as revenues climbed 49 percent to £37.8m pounds.

Rightmove puts its market-beating success down to winning advertising business from regional newspapers. 90 percent of all new and existing UK homes for sale on its web site.

However, Rightmove shares have plunged 32 percent so far this year as the UK housing market slows to a near halt.

Yesterday the CBI reported the weakest high street activity in 25 years, and the Nationwide building society said house prices have fallen for a tenth month. August's 1.9 percent drop takes the annual decline into double digits for the first time since 1990. The 10.5 percent annual drop has shaved almost £20,000 off the cost of the average home and returned prices to their level of two years ago.


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