Google is in talks with British estate agents to launch an online property portal, which experts say could pose a serious threat to existing property websites and local newspapers.
The US internet search company launched a property portal in Australia last August through which estate agents list properties for free, showing both pictures taken from its Street View service and details on a map.
Estate agents and property websites expect Google to launch a similar portal in the UK in early 2017, attracting substantial advertising revenue.
Ed Mead at Douglas & Gordon’s, the estate agency, said it had spoken to Google about the plans:
‘It looks very simple. If it stays free, then Google has a massive winner on its hands as it will get the backing from estate agents currently paying for rival sites.’