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Online property auction success signals shift from ballrooms to living rooms

- Zoopla.co.uk announces weekly auctions following success of first online auction -

16th Feb 2010

Zoopla.co.uk, the leading UK property website, held its first online property auction over the weekend, with bidding closing on Sunday, 14th February. Following the success of its first online auction, where 57 properties were sold either in the run up to or during the live online bidding over the weekend, Zoopla.co.uk has today announced that it will be conducting further online auctions weekly on its website from Feb 25th onwards.

In the first event of its kind in the UK, Zoopla.co.uk has clearly answered the question of whether people would actually purchase property online. With over 75,000 visitors to the auction site and more than 1,000 potential buyers registered for the first auction, it appears that the UK is set to follow the US trend where property auctions have transitioned rapidly over the past 2 years away from ballrooms to the internet, as potential buyers prefer to make bids from the comfort of their homes.

Bidders in the first Zoopla.co.uk online auction included first-time buyers, bargain hunters and seasoned investors and the properties on offer ranged from studio flats for £30,000 to a farm in Lancashire for £750,000 with an average value of properties in the auction at £104,000. Initially focussed on repossession properties, Zoopla.co.uk plans to broaden out the auction offering via its network of member estate agents to include any property where there is a motivated seller.

The model appears to be a win for all concerned in the property market with buyers able to purchase in a transparent way with certainty of outcome, sellers having a new route to market reaching a wider audience to maximise the price achieved and agents still earning their fees for properties that they put into auction as part of their marketing process on behalf of sellers.

Zoopla.co.uk has partnered in its auction venture with REDC, the world's largest property auction firm, which currently sells over £600m annually via its online auctions in the US. Online auctions will now be held weekly from Feb 25th at Zoopla.co.uk/auctions, starting every Thursday afternoon and closing on Sunday evenings. Properties listed for future events will be available online and with viewings conducted by potential bidders in advance, it appears to call into question the physical ballroom auction model other than for the 'theatrical' value.

Alex Chesterman, CEO of Zoopla.co.uk said, "With over 50 properties being sold last week as a result of our online auction process, we are very encouraged by the potential of the online model and it clearly signals the appetite of both buyers and sellers to transact in this transparent way. We see this as one of the most exciting developments in the UK property market in some time, which benefits buyers, sellers and agents alike."

- Ends -

For further information, please contact Tim Vooght at pr@zoopla.co.uk or on 020 3872 5615.

Notes to editors

About REDC

Since its launch in 1990, REDC has helped tens of thousands of families and individuals purchase homes at affordable prices through its unique auction process, establishing the company as the global leader in real estate auction marketing. Since 2007, the company has sold more than £4 billion worth of property and in 2008 alone, auctioned 32,800 homes for more than £2 billion.

REDC's real estate auctions have gained tremendous appeal and popularity among buyers and sellers, even in today.s difficult economic housing environment. In fact, thanks to REDC, the auction industry now plays a major role in property sales. REDC is a fully licensed real estate auctioneer, which has its headquarters in Irvine, California and offices in Dallas, New York and London.

About Zoopla.co.uk

Zoopla.co.uk is the UK's most comprehensive property website, focused on empowering consumers with the resources they need to make better-informed property decisions. We help our users make sense of the residential property market by combining property listings with market value data, local information and community tools.

Zoopla.co.uk was founded on the principles of transparency and efficiency and everything we do aims to make the market more effective for both property consumers and professionals alike. By combining free, instant value estimates for every UK home with sold prices, local market information and hundreds of thousands of properties available for sale and to rent, Zoopla.co.uk has rapidly become the ultimate destination for property consumers to search for property and do their market research. Our unique features allow users to gain an insight into the market and discover information they won't find anywhere else. And, as a result, we have become one of the most valued sources of both applicant and vendor leads for UK estate agents.

Launched in 2008, we are the fastest growing property website in the UK, now attracting over 12 million visits per month and are proud to have been awarded numerous accolades including being listed in the Top 10 UK Tech Companies (Guardian) and the Top 10 Most Innovative UK Companies (Smarta 100) as well as being voted the UK's Best Property Portal (Web User, Daily Mail Awards, Website of the Year).

Zoopla Limited is a privately held company with a highly experienced and proven management team, led by Founder and CEO, Alex Chesterman, and backed by well-respected angel investors and leading venture capital firms Atlas Venture (atlasventure.com) and Octopus Ventures (octopusventures.com).

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