StreetEasy, the slick NY-based real estate research site, recently unveiled its New Development Directory. This latest feature, which maps new buildings by neighbourhood and tracks price changes for apartment sales and rentals, is a great addition to a site that’s already essential for both apartment hunters and nosy neighbours interested in glimpsing what the people next door paid for their pad.
Anyone who has ever wasted hours wading through apartment listings on broker sites or Craigslist will appreciate StreetEasy’s extensive, user-friendly database of available apartments. Users can search for properties by building address, neighbourhood, and school district, and can even chart how prices have changed in recent months in their condo or co-op of choice. For $10 a month, premium users get more detailed access to the recorded sale price of all apartments on the market.
The site, which was started in January 2006 by CEO Michael Smith (previously founder and director of Insight First, a web analytics company acquired by 24/7 Real Media), focuses exclusively on NYC. It received an undisclosed amount of funding from FA Technology Ventures, which led the Series A round.
While StreetEasy faces competition from other real estate search sites like Trulia and Zillow, its neighbourhood focus gives it an edge. Not only can prospective buyers and tenants find info on local schools and crime stats; they can also read tips on the site’s message board from residents about which rat-infested buildings in the area to avoid. But StreetEasy’s real advantage over Trulia and Zillow is its ample data about co-ops and condos for sale and rent in the city. Its rivals, designed for use in housing markets across the country, are geared toward conventional home sales, which means they’re off little use to many New Yorkers.
Propertyshark, another competitor, may offer much more detailed info about neighbourhood demographics, but StreetEasy does a better job of putting those facts into context. “We tell you how long a property has been on the market, as well as what similar apartments have recently sold or rented for,” said Dawn Doherty, Vice President of Strategic Development for StreetEasy.
And while the site is bound to make the dreaded hunt for a new apartment a little less of a hassle for everyone, iPhone users are especially on Easy Street. Last month, the site launched the first version of its iPhone app.