Trulia Economist Kolko to Leave Following Zillow Purchase

Jed Kolko, the chief economist at real estate search site Trulia Inc., plans to leave his post following the San Francisco-based company’s acquisition by rival Zillow Inc.

“I haven’t decided what’s next for me,” Kolko, who will depart “later this spring,” said in an e-mail Monday. “First up will be catching my breath after this amazing ride ends.”

Zillow, based in Seattle, completed its $2.5 billion all-stock purchase of Trulia on Feb. 17 in a merger of the two most-visited U.S. real estate websites. Zillow plans to eliminate 350 positions, “due primarily to redundancy in the combined company’s sales and administrative organizations,” Chief Executive Officer Spencer Rascoff said in a statement. The merged company, Zillow Group Inc., will have about 2,000 employees after the cuts.

Move Inc., the third-largest real estate search site, was acquired by News Corp. in November for $844.9 million.

Kolko’s writing on the housing market often analyzes the influence of demographics and macroeconomic trends to predict and understand sales. Since January, he has filed reports on metropolitan areas where job growth is driving home-price appreciation, where climate influences the turnout of home shoppers, and how growth in U.S. suburbs is outpacing urban areas.

“My colleagues will continue to be writing and talking about real estate, uncovering serious trends and fun insights,” Kolko said in his e-mail.

Kolko, 44, who earned a Ph.D. in economics at Harvard University, joined Trulia in September 2011. He was previously a researcher at the Public Policy Institute of California and Forrester Research Inc. He also worked at the U.S. Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the World Bank and the Progressive Policy Institute.

Zillow has an in-house team of economists headed by Stan Humphries.

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