Zestimates Endorsed by BizJournal

My resolve has faltered… I promised I wouldn’t write about Zillow but this tidbit was just too interesting. Our local Business Journal proclaimed today that Portland is among fastest appreciating markets:

The “Portland-Salem” metro area posted the second-highest appreciation for residential real estate in the 2006 third quarter, according to Zillow, the Seattle-based service that provides online home valuations.

Did you catch that? It took a minute for it to sink in for me. Overall, the piece is a fairly standard quarterly update of real estate conditions. But who’s their source for this information? It’s not the MLS or NAR anymore, but Zillow.

Zillow may very well be a victim of its own success here; it says it has insisted all along its valuations are just estimates, but these third-party endorsements start to make that defense ring a little hollow.

If I were them, I’d be steeling myself for more lawsuits to come.