Property search startups grow up

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Dothomes, the renamed property search engines formerly known as Extate, has launched a property price tracker to measure prices. Plug in a postcode, the year and month you purchased your house and it will map that data against a number of other data points including including average national property prices, average London property prices, FTSE100 indices and the Bank of England base rates.

This is nice, but other sites are also doing similar kinds of things including Nestoria, which recently launched an API for data about average house prices in a postcode, in its key markets of the UK and Spain. Plus we can get some similar raw data from the Land Registry anyway.

Nestoria has also launched a house price widget which allows anyone to paste average house prices for their area onto their blog or website, etc. And they have obviously been busy, coming up with UK Property Vision, which is best described as Twittervision meets property porn.

So where are the APIs and widgets from Dothomes? It looks like they are no longer bothered by that game. Dothomes have dumped their old Extate model of keeping users on the site (at one point we were being encouraged to upload whole videos of houses) and gone for a full-blown “Google” strategy. Their new aim is to provide the absolute best search engine they can, give good results, link searchers directly to the estate agents’ original listings and then rely on the fact that they will come back again. In addition – instead of trying to compete with estate agents as a portal – as a search engine they will be in a position to now sell premium advertising against results and also sell search terms.

Dothomes is owned by BytePlay the company which has investment from The Accelerator Group (TAG), Arts Alliance, and Samos Investments. It was founded in May 2006 by Artemi Krymski and Douglas de Jager, two young alumni of London’s Imperial College, something of a hotbed of UK-based startups.

Meanwhile, the last I heard from Zoomf, that other UK-based Web 2.0 property site (which closed a round of funding from HOWZAT media at the start of the year) they’d launched a ‘Visual Search’ facility where you can draw on a map the area you would like to search for property in.

My mobile is also free from any voicemail from OnOneMap, and Igglo, the property search engine from Finland which trumpeted a $12.5m investment from Benchmark Europe a whole year ago about its impending entry into the UK, only for the line to go quiet. A simple check reveals that typing in re-directs you to Perhaps they had second thoughts? Either that or they had mates who worked at Northern Rock….

All in all it feels as if the property search startups are starting to mature and shake-out from their flurry of activity at the start of the year and are heading back to focus on their core ideas. This seems appropriate in a housing market which is waking up and smelling some very strong black coffee right now.

Here is more on Extate/Dothomes

Here is more on Zoomf

Here is more on OnOneMap

Here is more on Nestoria

  • agentbleu

    Great post Mike.

  • Douglas de Jager

    Dear Mike.

    Thanks for the review. Just a point or two to clarify.

    In one line: our new feature is a property valuation plot – like a Zillow estimate through time, coupled with comparative returns on investment. (See

    This quite unlike the services provided elsewhere in the UK:
    (1) We are not providing an average of the asking prices in our database ( ).
    (2) We are not providing an average of sold price data from Land Registry. Land Registry data includes no mention of property characteristics (no room number, no floor size, no floor level, no lease period.). So, if five 3 bedroom houses in 2003 and two basement studio flats are sold in 2004 then obviously the Land Registry average for the area will drop massively. This does not mean that prices have actually fallen. (Also, Land Registry data only runs from 2000.)

    Rather we are plotting valuation estimates based on hedonically modeled historical price data interpolated with current asking price data.

    Also, if you click on “embed” in the statistics section, you’ll spy our widgets.

    Hope all’s very well.

    Best wishes,


  • Douglas de Jager

    For the curious:

    Hedonic regression is a statistical method for estimating value or prices. It decomposes the item being researched into its constituent characteristics, and obtains estimates of the value of each characteristic.

  • Paul Sweeney

    I think I might be a little obsessed with this property mashup potential because their is so much value locked up in old fashioned information asymmetries. Accurate sales data and good trending information will have high value, that’s why zillow is pulling down such investment funding. Where I really want to see this go is into the government services sector where you can see all the government relevant services information i.e. rating of the local health centre, school, etc. etc.

  • Property investments

    But surely someone with a bit of coding knowledge could mashup this data from Zillow et al with something from to provide the info you’re after Paul.

  • Dominic

    There are definitely some interesting things happening right now. Property-England has a SVG graphing tool for historic house prices (just enter a postcode, town, whatever). Best viewed in Firefox, Safari or Opera.

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  • Property Spanish

    Yes there are some fab ways to explore house prices way but not sure if they are very accurate!!
    Lucy xx

  • Tony

    Interesting way to collect data on property.
    I have lots for in Mobile, Alabama and selling
    via the web is going slow, guest time are also.

  • London Property

    I think I may be fixated with this potential feature, because they are tied to old style. Precise and good sales in the data is valuable because Zillow to break down such investment funds. If you really want to go see this in the public sector, where you can see all the information relevant ministries, like local health centers, business hubs, colleges etc, etc.

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    If you hit a wall or the ceiling, then it is time to move on. Great post.Thanks for sharing.

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  • Property manager phoenix

    Nice and informative post Mike. Thanks for sharing.

  • Matthew Brown

    It really assisted me. All the information you have shared in this post is helpful to search the property. Thanks a ton!!

  • Matthew Brown

    It really assisted me. All the information you have shared in this post is helpful to search the property. Thanks a ton!!

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