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High street lenders react to on-line competition


Four of the largest estate agents have invested between £12 and15 million in a joint website which will put more than 25 per cent of fall properties up for sale online.


The four agents in the joint venture Halifax, Countrywide Assured, Royal and Sun Alliance and Connell say they are launching the site to fight back against low budget internet estate agents that are undercutting traditional branches.


Managing director of the Rightmove website, John Hunter says discussions are under way to add other agents to the operation, in a bid to get half of all properties on sale on the site by the end of the year.


He says: ” I am certain the UK will follow the US, where over 98 per cent of properties are online and where the majority of potential house buyers begin their search on the web.”

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