Is this the future of property search in the UK?
American property portal, Trulia, has launched an additional component to its search facility which will include crime data.
Perhaps akin to the ‘Crime Maps’ that the British Government announced earlier this year, those looking for a home online stateside will now be able to see details relating to neighbourhood crime in their area of search. Trulia are not the first website to introduce crime statistics in home listings but they are the first to be so specific as they will display descriptions of individual incidents, locations and specific dates of crimes.
Too much information? Perhaps. But you can bet that the likes of Zoopla, who are quite pioneering in the menu of facilities that they provide potential home buyers, or similar property websites will consider something along these lines. After all, crime and the fear of crime are way up there as important considerations to most of us.
And the battle for property search dominance is likely to be assisted greatly by the wealth of information that particular sites provide to their ever growing number of visitors. Indeed the combined might of Rightmove, Zoopla, Prime Location and Findaproperty yield around 14 million unique visitors each month now. Around a third of the entire UK internet usage population in fact.
It would, on the other hand, be a brave move though. How many estate agents would want to potentially hinder sales by using a website that shows local car thefts, criminal damage or worse? The industry may shun such ‘over information’?
Time will tell whether the UK market will follow the US lead on this.
Regardless, selling your home is now very much the domain of the internet with almost all property transactions now emanating via online resources. That’s why online estate agents now exist and are taking a growing slice of business from conventional, expensive estate agents.