What property recession? Nestoria launches WhereCanILive mashup

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We’re in an official recession. The property market has slumped. But who cares? Property search startup Nestoria remains busy. It’s just set up a white-label version of its service for AOL, following on from similar such deals with The Daily Telegraph and the Independent newspapers. The site is for users on AOL.co.uk and the Homes and Property Channel. Meanwhile it’s launched a brand new mashup using it’s data.

Where Can I Live uses the Nestoria database to help home hunters find their properties based on commuting times to their place of work in London. The user determines which Underground or DLR station is near his/her workplace and the budget to buy or rent. Tthe Where-Can-I-Live engine then finds properties on the market ranked by price and commuting time. Travel time is calculated only between stations, so the users need to add walking time to and from stations (apparently walking distance is inversely proportional to the renting value of many properties in London). The open-source OpenStreetMap is used as the base map, and it’s a lot more impressive than I thought it would be.

Where Can I Live is based on a tool originally developed by Christopher Osborne as part of his Masters project at UCL which he did with Nestoria. The site was created and launched as part of Nestoria’s Lokku Labs and realised by Doodledo.

Nestoria is, as I say, keeping busy, despite the doom and gloom in the property market. It’s also partnering with UK property portal Country Life and has whipped up Nestoholic.com, a house prices comparison site by location and area in the UK.

However, Where Can I Live is useless for people who live in London but want to live near an over-ground rail-line, not an Underground line. It also doesn’t cover bus routes, which are increasingly important in congestion-charge London (bus times have increased).

Nestoria remains “privately backed” but faces plenty of competition not least from Zoopla which now has £3.75m in funding to play with. That, and another player I am hearing about which is poised to bring yet another new model to market, so watch this space. Interesting times…

  • http://www.nestoria.com Ed

    Hi Mike,

    Ed from Nestoria here. Many thanks for the positive coverage. We welcome all feedback on where-can-i-live, I look forward to seeing what TechCrunch readers have to say.

    A few minor points. First of all we want to thank the great team behind mySociety for their work on time travel map prototypes last year that was our inspiration. We take your point about not having bus routes and overground. We have to start somewhere and rest assured v2 is coming. Launch early and launch often as they say.

    Finally, we don’t see Zoopla as competition in the slightest. We offer a very different (and much more simplistic) service and do our best to find ways to work together with (rather than against) everyone in the industry. Congrats to them for their recent funding.

    Thanks again.

  • http://www.veedow.com Fabio

    Nice tool. However if you’re familiar enough with London you probably already know where you’d like to live taking where you work / hang out in consideration. However, it could be a clever tool to discover areas not previously considered and to have a quick look on price trends. Definitely worth a play!

    As an aside Mike, you start off saying “the property market has slumped” – has it really? Both for sale and to rent? Because rent prices aren’t going down apparently (also, I spoke to estate agents who said that rent prices will rise again in the next months), so I was curious to get this right.


  • http://www.chickerino.com Marcus Greenwood

    Haha, well estate agents would say that wouldn’t they! House prices and rents in London are definitely coming down in my experience – and about time too!

    Congrats to Nestoria on the AOL partnership. The “Where I Can Live” mashup also looks pretty sweet :-)


  • http://www.cloudsourced.com Christopher Osborne

    Thanks for the feedback Mike. I’m already working on overland train times so watch this space.


  • http://giscussions.blogspot.com stevenfeldman

    Neat implementation by Chris and co but I am not sure that it adds very much to the process of home hunting. Adding other transport modes including walking will make a big difference.

    Good on Nestoria for backing this kind of innovative work

  • http://uk.techcrunch.com Mike Butcher

    Chris – go and talk to the http://walkit.com/ guys while you’re at it

  • http://blog.nestoria.co.uk/2009/01/26/where-can-you-live/ Where can you live? at Nestoria Blog

    […] There’s been some initial coverage of the service over on Property Portal Watch, Renthusiast, and TechCrunch. […]

  • http://fr.techcrunch.com/?p=11217 Le moteur de recherche immobilier Nestoria arrive en France

    […] du site, basée sur le projet open source OpenStreetMap. Et malgré la crise immobilière, Nestoria a lancé WhereCanILive en Angleterre avec AOL l’année […]

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