Price supervisor To Investigate SMG Price Hikes

February 21, 2024
Share this Post: 

The Swiss price supervisor has stepped in to examine whether the Swiss Marketplace Group (SMG) is engaging in abusive pricing ahead of a planned price hike in April.

The SMG-owned portal Homegate increased its basic listing price (circa $580) by 15% in 2023 and will likely introduce a further 50% price increase in April, news that was shared with users in February.

Several complaints about SMG have been made to the Swiss Competition Commission (WeKo) but no formal proceedings have emerged.

But the price supervisor may wholly or partially ban a price increase, or forcibly enact a price reduction if it finds SMG guilty of unfairly inflating prices according to the Price Supervision Act.

One real estate agent in Switzerland went public on LinkedIn to call out Homegate for sending an email that implied it would be increasing prices by almost 10 times after a presentation.

Alexandros Tyropolis, CEO at Novac Solutions, said:

"Homegate increases the prices tenfold! CHF 4,000 per month to advertise our vacant apartments!

"I almost argued with my colleague because I didn't believe her and was sure that she didn't really listen to the call where this was 'presented' to us!

"All competitors are swallowed up by the SMG. This creates a monopoly position that is now being shamelessly exploited. Isn't that a case for the Competition Commission?" [Translated from German]

SMG is a dominant force in Switzerland's real estate marketplace industry, and it is difficult for brokers to close deals without interacting with SMG products, so price hikes won't necessarily cause agents to flock to a competitor like NewHome, which achieves roughly three times less traffic than Homegate.

February 21, 2024
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the famous, free Friday newsletter!

News and analysis to help build better online marketplace businesses, in your inbox, every Friday

Related News

Proptech Funding Roundup 21March24
PropTech Funding Roundup: Spacely AI, Paraspot, First Street, Landerz

This week's proptech funding roundup hits close to home, featuring none other than the startup that won the Pitch Club...

Read More
Product Roundup 21.3.24 Updated
Product Roundup: Zillow, Immobiliare, Jitty, Listing Loop, AngoCasa, DomClick, Propertynews, Wasalt

Our product roundups seem to get bigger every week. This edition sees no fewer than ten companies announcing product and...

Read More
Dhruv Agarwala Rea India Logo
CEO Dhruv Agarwala on How REA India Reached Traffic Leadership, the Size of the Prize and Industry Disruption

As CEO of REA India, Dhruv Agarwala heads up one of the most ambitious projects in global real estate: becoming...

Read More
Beike Logo Chinese House
KE Holdings Sees 20% GTV Uptick in 2023 and Announces Special Dividend as It Outperforms Chinese Market

The Chinese brokerage and real estate marketplace operator KE Holdings (aka Beike) saw gross transaction value (GTV) increase 20% in...

Read More