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Google sets sights on UK property market

Google turns estate agent
Google turns estate agent

Google is looking to sink its search engine teeth into the UK property market, and create an online portal where estate agents can list properties for free.

This isn't the first time that Google has focused on the property market – the search giant already has a property portal based in Australia. And lets not forget the Monopoly mash-up that's said to be on the cards.

According to the Financial Times, the listings site would make use of Google's plentiful assets, with properties marked on Google Maps so prospective buyers can look at images of the houses and their surrounding areas.

Unpleasant choice

If Google did open up a property portal, and all signs are pointing to a launch in 2010, then existing websites like RightMove (who charges up to £325 a month for a listing) and even local newspapers who rely on property advertisements for revenue may well feel the pinch.

Douglas McCabe, of Enders Analysis, told the FT that: "It would appear that the property websites have got a very difficult and unpleasant choice to make here as to whether they co-operate with Google or not."

Via the Financial Times