Zoopla Property Group (ZPG) has bought Hometrack, the London-based property information company co-founded in 1999 by entrepreneur Giles Mackay, one of the richest men in the UK.
Mackay (pictured, left) was Hometrack’s CEO for many years before stepping aside in 2013 to become chairman and is likely to be adding several million to his estimated £354 million fortune now that ZPG has agreed to pay £120 million for the company.
Hometrack is the UK’s leading provider of residential property market data and works with over 400 partners including lenders, new home developers, investors, housing associations and local authorities.
The company is best known for its Average Valuation Model (AVM) which is used by 15 out of the top 20 lenders such as Barclays, Abbey and Nationwide, mainly as a tool to value homes for mortgage lending purposes, without the need for a site visit.
ZPG says the acquisition creates ‘the UK’s most valuable residential property resource’ and that it is part of a strategy to develop its data services business.
The acquisition also gives ZPG a door into the Australian property market, where Hometrack is one of the leading AVM suppliers. Hometrack is also a fast-growing company despite its vintage and over the past three years sales increased by approximately 15% generating revenues of £15.5 million last year.
Since 2013 Hometrack’s CEO has been Charles Bryant (pictured, left), who until then had been Deutche Bank’s Head of Technology Investment.
“We have had a long-standing relationship with ZPG and share the same vision of using data to help our partners operate more effectively,” says Bryant.
“My team and I are very much looking forward to helping expand ZPG’s data services business, further growing the quality and breadth of the services we offer to our partners and cementing ZPG as the market leader for residential property market insights and analytics.”