Confidence in housing sector sees Zoopla look to £1bn market float

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​THE UK’s second-largest property website Zoopla plans to list its shares on the London stock market next month to tap into rising confidence in the housing sector, valuing the group at about £1bn.

​Majority owner ​​Daily Mail & General Trust and Zoopla’s other owners plan to sell shares in June to institutional investors and the estate agents who pay to list properties on its websites.

Zoopla, which was launched in 2008, trails Rightmove in the online property sector, drawing more than 40 million visits a month to its websites and mobile applications, compared​​ with about 80 million visits for its larger rival.

Zoopla, which also powers local classified property platforms for The Yorkshire Post and other Johnston Press newspapers, will join other online property companies such as estate agent Foxtons on the London mar- ket.

​Zoopla’s f​ounder and chief executive Alex Chesterman ​said the firm plans to launch additional products and services after the share sale, with a move into the commercial property market pla​nned for this year and possible overseas expansion in the future.

​​“We have a very strong growth story,” ​said Mr ​Chester- man.

“We’ve built a leading market proposition in an industry with high barriers to success. ​90​ per​ ​cent of all properties for sale or to rent are advertised on our platform.”

Any listing is likely to be lifted by the strong sentiment around the ​UK​ housing market, particularly in London, where prices have surged 17 per​ ​cent in the 12 months to March, pushed up by cash-rich foreign investors.