HouseValues on Tuesday reported a $1.2 million loss in the first quarter 2007, and announced that its chairman will be leaving the company later this month.

HouseValues co-founder Mark Powell is stepping down as chairman of the board, the company said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

The board has elected Frank M. “Pete” Higgins to replace Powell, who is expected to officially step down on May 31, the date of the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Higgins is a founding partner of Seattle-based Second Avenue Partners and spent 16 years at Microsoft, where he reported to CEO Bill Gates.

Powell is a second-generation Realtor who also spent 10 years in the advertising and marketing field. He founded HouseValues in 1999.

“Mr. Powell’s decision not to stand for re-election did not result from a disagreement with the Company on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices. After more than seven years with HouseValues Mr. Powell has decided to dedicate his full energies to other interests,” according to the SEC filing.

HouseValues’ quarterly loss was down from a $2 million profit during the same quarter a year ago.

The company’s first-quarter revenue was $17.8 million, down from $23.2 million during the same period a year ago.

Quarter-end customer count was lower in the first quarter of 2007 than the fourth quarter of 2006, reflecting customer cancellations that were partially offset by seasonally stronger new customer acquisition, the company said. Average revenue per customer increased slightly in the first quarter compared to the fourth quarter.

HouseValues is an online lead generation and lead management company for real estate professionals. The company operates, and, which offer to connect consumers to relevant real estate information and Realtors in their area.

The company this week relaunched the national consumer real estate site, and last week announced that it is providing its agent customers with Web marketing tools that aim to help them generate more business directly from the Web.

HouseValues’ stock (Nasdaq: SOLD) closed at $4.78 per share on Tuesday, down from Monday’s closing price of $4.86.

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