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Homestore.com Buys Homefair.com for $85 Million

The online house-hunting market reshuffled Tuesday as real estate firm Homestore.com Inc. purchased moving resource Homefair.com, a division of Central Newspapers Inc., for $85 million.

Homestore.com (HOMS) operates popular house-hunting sites such as REALTOR.com, HomeBuilder.com, apartment locator SpringStreet.com and Remodel.com.

Its purchase of Homefair adds relocation services to its site, such as a mortgage calculator and qualifier, salary calculator (comparing two cities), a relocation crime lab, an insurance professor, a school report and a relocation wizard.

Homefair.com previously had a content agreement with Homestore.com to provide services, and Stuart Wolff, chairman and chief executive officer of Homestore.com, said that its services fit with Homestore's strategy.

"With the acquisition of Homefair.com, Homestore.com will operate three out of the top five most visited real estate web sites on the Internet," Wolff said. "We've had a long and successful relationship with Homefair.com and this acquisition further enhances the full range of services we offer consumers on our Web sites."

The company said it expects Homefair to add approximately 2.7 million unique visitors per month to its site, which already has a strong presence in the online real estate market.

"By integrating our understanding of the moving and relocation market with Homestore.com's resources and significant customer base, we hope to significantly extend consumer reach for both companies," said Bryan Schutjer, president of Homefair.com.