The CoStar Group announced today that it had acquired the URL Houses.com for an undisclosed sum. It’s the latest sign the company is gearing up to enter the residential real estate market.
CoStar said Houses.com would be a national marketplace for real estate sales that also supports its agents. The site may also be connected with a new New York City-based site that the Real Estate Board of New York is developing in conjunction with HomeSnap. On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission cleared CoStar’s $250 million acquisition of HomeSnap, a software company catering to real estate agents. The deal marks CoStar’s first foray into residential sales.
Indeed, Andy Florance, CoStar founder, president and CEO, has been clear about his desire to take on Zillow, currently the No.1 residential real estate site in the U.S. In an interview with Inman, Florance said he planned to dominate the residential real estate market. “I thought up the Zillow business model years before Zillow did,” Florance said.
The new site would likely operate on a similar business model to LoopNet, CoStar’s commercial real estate site. Agents can post listings to LoopNet free of charge but pay for management tools and marketing products.