More M&A consolidation in the property search market, just as home buying itself endures its own ups and downs. Guardian Media Group’s GMG Property Services is offloading its Thinkproperty.com to rival Zoopla, three years after it bought it. Zoopla says it’s also eyeing more buys.
GMG-owned Trader Media Group acquired Thinkproperty parent Vebra in August 2006. Though GMG sold 49.9 percent of Trader to Apax a year later, GMG retained the property sites, forming its own property unit. It now seems the residential-focused Thinkproperty is no longer considered core for the division, which is left concentrating on stablemates CFP Software, Core Systems and Vebra‘s other operations, providing software and tools to estate agents themselves.
Zoopla started in ’08 to give buyers access to local and specific house valuations but also now provides its own paid listing service to estate agents. No acquisition price is being disclosed, but a Zoopla-owned Thinkproperty.com is gaining vendor exclusivity on Guardian.co.uk’s property search features, which it already supplies via hyperlink. Thinkproperty claims 200,000+ monthly uniques.
GMG is the second news publisher to want to offload a property search site in the space of a couple of months – News International and Australian property group REA wanted to shut their jointly-held Propertyfinder.com, though a management buy-out attempt has been launched.
Disclosure: Our publisher ContentNext is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media, a part of GMG.