The Real Estate Board of New York on Wednesday announced plans to launch a new service to provide a Web-based searchable database of residential properties for sale and for rent in New York City.

REBNY says it has begun developing a Web portal that will incorporate its members’ property listings and make the portal available to the general public for free in early 2007.

REBNY is New York City’s largest trade association with more than 11,000 members from more than 300 brokerages. The group includes major commercial and residential property owners and builders, brokers, managers, banks, financial service companies, utilities, attorneys, architects and contractors.

“Those looking for a home in New York City will soon have one tool that enables them to search and browse listings in the most comprehensive database of residential properties on the market,” said REBNY President Steven Spinola. “Accurate and current exclusive listings of the most active and professional firms in the city will be available.”

Currently, member brokers share their residential listings through the REBNY Listing Service (RLS).

“The technology for the system already is in operation through REBNY’s RLS,” said Spinola. “Creating an easy-to-use interface for the typically more than 10,000 listings will put the comprehensive data at the public’s fingertips.”

Visitors to the portal will be able to specify the characteristics of their ideal home, such as number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location, price and other amenities, and receive a list of homes meeting the specified criteria and supply broker contacts for each.

Development of the portal has been approved by REBNY’s Residential Board of Directors. REBNY residential member firms include Bellmarc Realty, Brown Harris Stevens, Citi-Habitats, the Corcoran Group, Halstead Property, Prudential Douglas Elliman, Stribling & Associates, Warburg Realty Partnership, and 309 additional firms.

“This is a true first for New York’s residential real estate market,” said Frederick Peters of Warburg Realty Partnership, who is co-chair of REBNY’s Residential Board of Directors. “Not only is this great news for consumers, but it will enable brokers to provide a higher level of service to their selling customers and serve their buying customers in a more efficient and convenient manner.”

REBNY expects to have the portal ready for release to the public by the early 2007 home-buying season.

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