According to reports from the Financial Times, Google is planning to start a property portal on their site by early 2010.
It is believed that they will use Google Maps and Street View in a manner similar to what they are already offering in Australia since a few months ago. Early reports show that the Australian real estate search service is getting a good response. Estate agents list the sites available to them, along with all details for free, and Google provides a picture of the front of the property via Street View.
If Google does launch a similar service in the U.K. they could earn a lot of revenue from the advertising potential that this service would generate.
Spokespersons from various agencies who have heard of this service, have said that this move could be interesting and it is likely to affect other property listing sites, especially if Google offers this service for free.
It is also likely that the newspaper industry may suffer further losses as a result of such a service. The newspaper industry is already suffering from loss of advertising in their real estate classified section, due a combination of a fall in the real estate market and due to similar services being offered on other websites.
Google has so far refrained from making any comment on the subject.
Google Real Estate Search Australia
This service is now live in the UK, as of 16 June 2010.