Point and peek iPhone app for Aussie househunters

One of Australia's four major banks launched a bold new smartphone application Wednesday, offering househunters a virtual peek into their dream home and instant data simply by pointing their iPhone at it.

The Commonwealth Bank's free "Property Guide" application uses location-based technology and data from property analysis companies realestate.com.au and RP Data to give inside access to homes.

Pointing the phone handset at a home from the street will give a property profile including number of bedrooms, sale price and auction data, and where possible will feature photos of the interior, the bank said.

Consumer marketing manager Mark Murray said the application, which is available only on the more recent 3GS or iPhone 4 models, aimed at tapping into the smartphone market, with 70 percent of home purchase decisions made online.

"Rather than having to sit at home on the Internet or do it whenever they might otherwise, (buyers) can (research) when they're out and about on the weekend, having a look at that suburb or those couple of streets that they really want to buy in," Murray told AFP.

He admitted the application could, in some cases, allow people to look at the interior of a home without the current resident's knowledge.

"The basic premise around all these things is that all this information is publicly available today... we're just bringing that information in a more convenient format and in the palm of your hand," he said.

The application will offer a sales history of the property, recent sales in the area, demographic information, median price data and capital growth trends for suburbs.

Calculator functions will allow buyers to estimate monthly repayments on the home and users will be able to directly contact an agent or home lender and email listings on.