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I’m going to begin a regular feature looking at some of the top real estate sites. Today we’ll visit Trulia.com, mainly because Heather Fernandez, one of the company’s marketing execs stopped by the office last week. Trulia was founded by two tech entrepreneurs Pete Flint and Sami Inkinen. They are based in San Francisco, employ about 80 people and make their money selling advertising on the site. The research firm Hitwise says they are the 10th most visited real estate site. The name Trulia has something do with being true.
Like all of the real estate search sites Trulia is involved in a battle of information—who can deliver the most data in the most useful form. Trulia has a few unique features such as “heat maps’ that highlight neighborhoods by average home prices and real estate “guides” that give info such as number of homes available, median sales prices per square foot and crime stats.
I find that Trulia is the easiest site on which to find the previous sale prices of homes. You can also search their listings for bank owned homes, auctions, or recently filed notices of default.
Yesterday Trulia launched a new feature, the ability to search for homes with recent price reductions. That’s a great way to find desperate sellers. Given that homes sales continue to disappoint there should be plenty more reductions in the coming months.
Trulia’s research found that 27% of homes currently on the market experienced at least one price cut. Of the eleven large cities Trulia tracked, New York had the largest percentage decrease, at 15%, to $1.8 million. Houston had the smallest decrease at 6% to $312,000.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.