L&G's estate agents to go online

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The Independent Online

A virtual estate agent will tomorrow announce that it has signed a deal with Legal & General which will see it list online over half the UK's properties for sale.

A virtual estate agent will tomorrow announce that it has signed a deal with Legal & General which will see it list online over half the UK's properties for sale.

Property Internet's agreement with the insurance giant will mean that by the end of the year the AIM-listed company will have over 200,000 homes on its books.

While both parties refused to comment, it is understood that the deal will allow Property Internet to advertise homes on its site - 08004homes.com - from Legal & General's 1,400 pool of tied estate agents. These are mainly independent groups.

The move comes at a time when the number of internet property sites is steadily growing at what commentators predict is an unsustainable level.

Following the deal with Legal & General, Property Internet is also expected to roll out a series of financial products tied to the insurance company. These could include mortgage broking and the sale of insurance policies through a newly created portal.

Property Internet, which revealed an operating loss of £839,447 in its March preliminary results on a turnover of £15.6m, doesn't make money from advertising homes for sale. Its revenues are generated from on-site advertising, conveyancing and the sale of editorial content to portals including MSN, Excite, WH Smith and News Now. The company was set up three years ago by former Fleet Street journalists Alan Frame and Neil Mackwood.

Floated on the AIM in September last year, Property Internet is backed by Commonwealth Bank of Australia. At their peak in March the company's shares hit 213p. On Friday, they closed at 37.5p.

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