Yahoo Real Estate strikes deal with Zillow

Start-up, still in beta, to provide Yahoo with satellite map-based search functions, home value tracking.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.
Caroline McCarthy
Real-estate service Zillow.com is still in beta mode, but it has already scored a deal to provide free home value data for users of Yahoo's real-estate site.

Visitors to Yahoo Real Estate can now use Zillow's software to look up and compare real-estate values, Yahoo announced Wednesday. Along with an approximation of a home's value, the Zillow software provides indicators showing value fluctuations over the past week, as well as graphs that chart changes over the past year.

Not everyone can find their home value through Zillow or its partnership with Yahoo Real Estate, however. While data on more than 65 million homes is available, some states--such as Indiana, Texas and Louisiana--are left out entirely due to nondisclosure laws, and some counties and individual homes are not yet in the database.

Seattle-based Zillow was launched in February 2006 by two members of the original team behind travel site Expedia: Richard Barton and Lloyd Frink. It uses a proprietary formula based primarily on public records to generate its "Zestimate" of a home's approximate market value. From that, it can create a "Zindex" median house value for a given geographic area on a particular day.

Zillow also implements satellite maps from GlobeXplorer to chart and visually compare housing features and prices. On Yahoo Real Estate, however, the map data will be provided by Yahoo Maps.

Zillow's Web site says most "Zestimates" are within 10 percent of a home's actual market value.