Tuesday, September 14, 2010
French property portal hits the jackpot
If you are reading this in the UK you are sure to know of Rightmove & Primelocation. In the USA you will be familiar with Realtor, Trulia and Move.com.
You may not have heard of Soufun.com (China) or Funda.nl (Holland) but they are both clear market leaders as are Realestate.com.au (Australia) and Gdeetotdom.ru (Russia).
Property portals are big business, yet they have only really been around for the last ten years.
This week in France, Axel Springer offered the best part of €500m for SeLoger.com which is the leading portal here in France. I know they sound like the lead singer of a rock band but Axel Springer are actually Europe's largest newspaper publisher.
SeLoger shares rose 32% at one stage and the company is valued at around €630m.
It's a bold move in what is a ridiculously fast moving market. No one in the world could accurately predict how the whole house buying process is going to change over the next 5, 20 & 50 years.
The market hangs on every word that the Google PR machine puts out (or doesn't put out which is often more effective) but don't forget that Google reached market dominance in a relative micro-second.
As each day goes by estate agents are being squeezed and their business models are being scrutinised. A power shift is taking place away from the seller towards the buyer.
Who knows where it will all end but as "Deep throat" says in All the Presidents Men:
"Follow the money".