Google planning to Launch Free Online Property Portal for UK, Rightmove Shares Fall

Search Engine giant Google is currently in talks with various renowned real estate agents, looking to join hands with them and to launch a free online property portal for users across UK, the kind that the firm has already rolled out in Australia in August.

While experts are of the view that this would drastically revolutionize the whole process of searching for and buying a home, analysts have warned that it could lead to a huge battle between all the existing UK real estate websites and Google, when the American firm tries to make a place for itself.

Rightmove has already been hurt by the development, as shares of the property website operator fell sharply after the speculations became much stronger. Google could move into the British real estate market as early as next year.

While re-stressing his "buy" stance on Rightmove, Paul Richards, an analyst at Numis, said that the UK firm was "entrenched as the clear market leader in UK property portals", and will maintain its market position. But not all experts seem to share this opinion, with most saying that Google has a good chance of overtaking all current leaders.

"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", said Ed Mead, Commercial Director at London-based Estate Agent Douglas & Gordon, who yesterday confirmed that he has had a word with Google on the scheme.