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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Defunct online agency domain name on sale again - for £50,000

The domain name Houses.co.uk - which we reported last month was for sale for a surprisingly low £3,000 - has had its asking price revised upwards to a whopping £50,000.

The independent property guide website SellingUp - which spotted the price change - says the domain name was originally purchased several years ago by Peter Thornton, a car rental entrepreneur who set up the agency with high street estate agent Russell Bennett of Quirk Deakin in Essex.

The purchase price then was reportedly £40,000 but last month it surfaced on the domain marketplace auction website Sedo for a very modest £2,999. 

But SellingUp says Thornton has blamed Sedo for (perhaps ironically) using an automated valuation tool to set the asking price - which should have been much higher, apparently around £50,000.

Thornton reportedly had many offers when the lower price was advertised, with some bidding up to £10,000, but all have been rejected. 

One of the disappointed non-buyers turns out to be none other than Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov. 

“What happened is, our kids go to the same school and it was a parents’ day,” explained Thornton to SellingUp. “We got talking about the domain and he said to me ‘I made you an offer, I was waiting to hear back from you’. It was in the £3,000 range, it was for some lettings project.”

The full SellingUp story is here.

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