WhatHouse? is returning to the consumer print world, seven years after it canned its hard copy magazine.
The company, which is launching an estate agency portal in mid-January, stopped print publication of its What House? magazine in 2006, going on to print it digitally as a relaunch in 2010.
It now says print still has a part to play, and is rolling out a series of home-delivered regional property newspapers, complete with estate agents’ listings.
The first WhatHouse? newspapers, published this month, will cover Kent and Sussex (South East), and Hampshire, Surrey and the Isle of Wight (Southern).
Around 100,000 copies of each edition, with local editorial and advertising, will be delivered by Royal Mail to ABC1 profiled home owners and tenants across the two regions.
Next month, more local titles will be produced: WhatHouse? Eastern covering Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire; and What House? Midlands delivered across the West Midlands, Shropshire and Staffordshire.
Each will have a circulation of 150,000.
The papers will cover both new and second-hand property, and will profile the key players, both house builders and estate agents, in the targeted regions, as well as listing their properties for sale.
Editorial director Rupert Bates said: “This is not about turning the clock back to print – it is about turning it forward. It is about being intuitive and recognising that print, far from being dead, can also exploit and enhance the power of online.
“Newspapers, backed by online, can create a virtuous circle and give buyers and sellers the whole package to make informed property decisions, with a bank of local knowledge about the house builders and estate agents in their area, as well as information on market trends and finance and buying initiatives, such as Help to Buy and part exchange.”
A large percentage of the audience that the local newspapers will reach is over 55, said the company.