Zoopla Property Group has announced it is buying Hometrack, a specialist in housing valuation data, established back 1999.
This data includes home prices in UK cities, and its automated valuations. The purchase has prompted speculation among agents.
The sum paid by Zoopla for the purchase is £120m, of which £108m will be paid on completion, plus £6m on each of the first and second anniversaries of the purchase.
Established in 1999, Hometrack is described by Zoopla as the UK’s leading automated valuation model provider and one of the leading AVM providers in Australia, generating over 20m automated property valuations each year.
According to the Zoopla announcement, Hometrack provides residential property market insights, analytics, valuations and data services to over 400 partners including mortgage lenders, new home developers, investors, housing associations and local authorities.
Hometrack currently partners with 15 of the top 20 mortgage lenders in the UK as well as all four leading Australian mortgage lenders, and its UK AVM is said to be recognised by all the major ratings agencies.
The business, which generated revenues of £15.5m and adjusted EBITDA of £7.1m in the year to the end of June 2016, has 55 staff operating out of offices in London and Sydney.
Zoopla said that the acquisition of Hometrack “is another step in ZPG’s mission to be the most effective partner for its estate agency and new home developer partners”.
It added: “The combination brings together two of the UK’s leading residential property market insights and analytics providers, creating the most valuable property resource in the UK.”
The statement, which was made just after the close of stock market trading yesterday, went on: “Hometrack will continue to operate as a standalone brand and platform with the team forming the cornerstone of ZPG’s data services business, which will be headed up by Charlie Bryant, CEO of Hometrack.”
Alex Chesterman, founder and CEO of ZPG, said: “We are delighted to announce the acquisition of Hometrack, the clear market leader in AVM services in the UK.
“The deal gives us unrivalled capabilities to serve our estate agent and developer partners even more effectively with market-leading valuation tools and data intelligence to help them win more business.
“Hometrack is a perfect fit for us and I forward to welcoming Charlie and his team to the ZPG family.”
Bryant said: “We have had a long-standing relationship with ZPG and share the same vision of using data to help our partners operate more effectively.
“My team and I are very much looking forward to helping develop ZPG’s data services business, further growing the quality and breadth of the services to our partners, and cementing ZPG as the market leader for residential property market insights and analytics.”