If you want to immerse yourself in a sea of real estate data, PropertyShark is a welcome site. Spawned by Matthew Haines, a programmer who was laid off after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the PropertyShark Web site now has about 100,000 registered users and boasts one of the most expansive collections of free online real estate data for the New York City area. Registration is free to access most of the site's features, and its advanced users -- among them are real estate investors, developers, brokers and other professionals -- purchase annual subscriptions for about $500. The company mines volumes of real estate data from a variety of public and other sources, and stitches the information together online with richly layered maps and statistics for individual properties and buildings. The site allows users to view for-sale property listings and reports, foreclosure listings, comparable sales data, and view maps that include building outlines, zoning types, air rights, fl...
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