Market bites online victim

Friday, November 14th 2008, 2:57PM

by Philip Macalister

One of the bigger real estate websites in New Zealand,, is being closed by its ASX-owned parent company REA Group.

The company plans to close the residential real estate site at the end of this month, but will continue with its commercial site.

The company isn’t commenting on the closure, other than to make a basic announcement. However, it appears that it has proved very difficult to compete with the two market heavyweights, TradeMe and

Added to that agents are tightening their belts and the number of sales being completed each month have fallen significantly.

This has been shown in the latest Real Estate Institute figures released yesterday.

The closure of the site is a clear illustration that the market is tough out there, but also one needs to remember that REA has operations in a number of countries and it probably wants to concentrate on markets where it can make a buck at the moment.

It’s also interesting as has been a master at promoting itself and presenting a positive image to the market.

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