The hubbub over CoStar’s potential acquisition of Realtor.com parent company Move Inc. from News Corp was apparently much ado about nothing. The commercial real estate giant announced Tuesday during its fourth-quarter earnings call with investors that “at this point, CoStar Group is not acquiring Realtor.com.”
Florance also expressed the appreciation he had for Move Inc., stating: “We are confirming here at this point CoStar Group is not acquiring Realtor.com. We have tremendous respect for the people behind Realtor.com and for the National Association of Realtors.”
Instead, CoStar CEO Andy Florance told those listening to the call that the firm will focus on building out and improving its Homes.com business.
“Our planned investment into marketing to drive traffic to Homes.com will increase later in the year as we approach the point where we are ready to monetize Homes.com,” Florance said on the call Tuesday evening. “We continue to believe that Homes.com’s business model and our principals are well aligned with the interest of NAR members and real estate agents generally.”
According to CoStar, the number of unique visitors to Homes.com in January had grown 130% year over year.
In late January, news broke that CoStar was in talks with News Corp to acquire Move Inc. for a rumored $3 billion. And, just 10 days ago, New Corp stated in its fourth quarter earnings report that it was still “actively engaged in discussions with CoStar Group about a potential sale of Move.”
On Tuesday, however, News Corp state that it “will continue to actively assess opportunities to support the company’s strategy to optimize the value of its digital real estate services segment and otherwise maximize shareholder value.”
Responding to a question about whether or not CoStar would consider bolstering their residential business through acquisitions, Florance said: “I don’t think you can rule anything out.”
“I think we are very fortunate to have a very viable organic path,” he added.