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DuProprio sold to UK group for $51 million - Details and Analysis

24 janvier 2019,

It was a big surprise when Yellow Pages announced in July that it was bidding farewell to its subsidiary, DuProprio, after only 3 years from its acquisition.

After claiming strong digital growth plans for Duproprio when it was acquired, Yellow Pages’ plans do not seem to have gone as planned as it now felt compelled to sell the subsidiary.

This Quebec-based company was sold to the British group Purplebricks for the sum of $51 million.

But what does this transaction imply for the future of Duproprio and its smooth operation? We will reveal all the details and our analysis from the information presented by journalists of TVA Nouvelles!


The real estate agency Dupropio specializing in FSBO properties was sold recently to the British group Purplebricks.


Yellow Pages consolidates its operations and divests its ownership of ComFree/DuProprio

Yellow Pages explained its need to sell its subsidiary ComFree/Duproprio, or ComFree, which is actually the English version of Duproprio, based on the need to refocus its activities.

The financial health of Yellow Pages was also questioned, and it is with the aim of improving its situation that the company has decided to sell Dupropio.

It should be noted that last year alone, Yellow Pages had begun its consolidation process and laid off more than 500 employees, or nearly 18% of its staff.

With this announcement, it is obvious that the expected performance of the platform Duproprio did not necessarily meet its targets.

A re-sale in less than 3 years is not generally synonymous with great financial success. We will explain why in the text below.


British group Purplebricks buys DuProprio for $51 million

The British group Purplebricks has acquired ComFree/DuProprio for the sum of $51 million.

Duproprio, founded in 1997 in Lévis, is now in foreign hands, which obviously displeases some people.

Purplebricks says it plans to expand to Western Canada and invest close to $26 million over the next two years.

What is rather surprising is that Duproprio was sold for almost the same price as it was acquired by Yellow Pages in 2015.


DuProprio was sold at the same price for which it was acquired in 2015

DuProprio is known for its scathing and provocative statements regarding real estate brokers and their usefulness in real estate transactions in Quebec!

It now claims that more and more people are using their platform and that soon, brokers will disappear from the market.

But when you look at the numbers, the reality is vastly different.

Just looking at the value of DuPropio in its last two transactions, one thing is immediately surprising: the company was sold for almost the same price in 2015 and in 2018.

If more and more people use the services of DuProprio, its revenues would have increased and the company’s net worth should be bigger. This would inevitably have increased its selling price.

What we see here is quite revealing!


2015 2018
$50 million $51 million
The net worth of Duproprio hardly increased in the years of its operations in between both sales in 2015 and 2018. The net worth of Duproprio hardly increased in the years of its operations in between both sales in 2015 and 2018.


The lack of growth of Duproprio raises doubts about its effectiveness

It is simply logical.

If DuProprio was really effective and it was an advantageous option for sellers, why has the company’s net worth not appreciated in the last few years?

If it really worked for everyone, more and more people would have used the platform which would, in turn, have increased their revenues and thus increase the net worth of the company.

Yet, in 3 years, the business was sold only for $1 million more, a growth of only 2%. It is very poor..


Did the lack of growth of ComFree/DuProprio push Yellow Pages to divest ownership and solidify its financial position?

We cannot say but it is entirely possible!

What is certain is that while the number of home sales in Quebec is increasing each year, Dupropio’s growth has been remarkably small.


DuPropio offers real estate services for sellers without an agent, therefore, no commission.


Is DuProprio a concept that works for everyone?  

Does Duproprio work on a principle that works for some sellers: definitely!

Is DuProprio a concept that can replace all agents and work to everyone’s advantage: the answer is NO!

There are usually two profiles of sellers with different needs, and this may explain the limited growth of the business in recent years.



Sellers are knowledgeable about real estate, or who are not stressed out, and are not in a hurry to sell and have time to manage the sale of their property.

They have the energy, knowledge, and time necessary to post their property on the internet, take calls, schedule appointments, make visits, negotiate with their potential buyers, and look after the legal aspects, etc.

It is a type of sale that requires time and skills.



Sellers who don’t have the time to deal with the sale of who their property, who don’t want to take risks, and want everything settled quickly without any hitches opt for a sale with a broker.

Despite the commission fees, real estate brokers often sell a property quickly at the best price and save money by avoiding costly mistakes.

It is a turn-key service where the sellers have peace of mind in knowing that they have the best chance of selling their property quickly, for the best possible price, and without having to invest their time.


Duproprio holds only 20% of the market of sold properties in Quebec …

Based on statistics from TVA Nouvelles, DuProprio holds about 20 % of the market share in Quebec.

In terms of home sales, this represents only 2 transactions for every 10 homes sold which is quite a low figure.  

A vast majority of sales were handled by professional real estate brokers.

Can we expect to see a reversal of this trend and witness a phenomenal growth of sales through DuProprio?

This has yet to be seen but according to a number of experts, it is unlikely.

As practical and interesting the concept of DuProprio is for certain sellers, it cannot meet the needs of a majority of actual sellers.

The truth is that many people do not want to handle the sale of their house and prefer to have a professional do it for them, even if it means paying a little more.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that having both options available is ideal to meet the needs of everyone.

What about you? Are you more likely to use the services of a real estate agent or market your home on your own via DuProprio?







The future of DuProprio in Quebec: what to expect?

Many are wondering what future is in store for DuProprio in Quebec now that the company has passed into foreign hands.

Well, Purplebricks has announced its intention to continue the activities of DuProprio in Quebec under the same name and has even promised to invest several millions of dollars over the next 2 years to grow the business.

As their advertisements claim, will DuProprio replace all real estate agents in Quebec?

Not at all! With only 20% market share, there is still a long way to go before it poses a real threat to the real estate brokerage market.

However, the real estate market needs a service such as DuProprio to accommodate the minority of sellers who desire to do everything on their own.

DuProprio is undoubtedly here to stay but its possible growth remains uncertain.


Dupropio’s lackluster performance in the last few years has not posed any serious threat to real estate agents.


If you want to sell your house in Quebec, two options are offered to you: get the services of a real estate broker or market your house online using a platform such as DuProprio.

For those who have the time, energy, and have a good knowledge of real estate, using the services of DuProprio can be advantageous. However, you need to be patient, not in a hurry, and be very resourceful.

If you want to sell your house quickly, at the best price, in the best possible terms and with peace of mind, entrusting your project to a real estate broker is an excellent choice!

Simply fill out our free online form to compare 3 real estate agents in your area in just 2 minutes!

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Selling a house in Quebec presents two options, sell with DuPropio or take advantage of the expertise of a real estate agent or broker.


Buying or selling a property has a direct impact on your budget and your quality of life. This is why it is so important to have the right person assisting you. Use our service to find a real estate professionnal who truly meets your expectations.

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