Property website Zillow buys StreetEasy for $50m
Property listing website Zillow has bought New York City-focused StreetEasy for $50m (£32m).
The company said the acquisition was an effort to enter one of the most lucrative US housing markets.
"StreetEasy is an incredibly strong and recognised brand in New York City," said Zillow boss Spencer Rascoff in a statement. "Simply put, StreetEasy has cracked the code in New York."
The company also announced a public offering of 2.5 million shares.New York boom
StreetEasy, which was founded the same year as Zillow in 2006, now attracts nearly 1.2 million monthly unique visitors, according to Zillow.
By aggressively courting estate agents in the city, StreetEasy has grown in scope and relevance over the past few years - a particularly crucial time, as the price paid per square foot in Manhattan has been booming as of late.
Although the site is primarily focused on New York City, it also shows listings for properties in Philadelphia, Washington DC, South Florida and parts of New Jersey, as well as the Hamptons on Long Island.
It is expected that this deal will allow the company to further expand its reach nationally across the US.
"We're very excited to be joining forces with Zillow, the largest national brand in mobile and online real estate," said Michael Smith, one of the co-founders of StreetEasy, in a statement.
The deal is expected to close by the end of the month.Continue reading the main story
Zillow had its stock market debut in July 2011, as part of a wave of other high-profile public offerings of technology companies such as LinkedIn and Pandora.
Although the company reported a net loss of $10.2m in its most recent earnings statement, revenue exceeded expectations, as the housing market recovery in the US has helped buoy traffic and sales.
Most recently, new data on housing permits released last week showed continued strength.
Zillow now estimates its monthly traffic at 61 million users across the US.
It has sought to aggressively buy up smaller competitors to compete against Trulia, another web-based property listing service. StreetEasy is Zillow's seventh acquisition.
Earlier this month, the site hosted a question-and-answer session with President Barack Obama, centred on his housing speech in Phoenix, Arizona - a state that had been particularly hard hit by the mortgage collapse in 2008-2009, but which has now recorded some of the fastest-growing property sales in the US.
Investors have been impressed by Zillow's performance: the stock has risen close to 150% in the past year.