The Internet has changed the way people shop for real estate, providing a range of tools for searching and viewing properties to calculating mortgages. While traditional methods such a newspaper and magazine ads still have their place, New Zealanders like many others now go online for a large portion of their research.
According to the Nielsen Annual Real Estate Market Report, home shoppers are spending 4.5 hours a week on real estate web sites, with specialist web sites such as realesate.co.nz and trademeproperty.co.nz accounting for almost three of those hours each week. Another 110 minutes was spent on search engines while 106 hours was spent on the sites of individual real estate agents. The trend to turn to the Internet shows no signs of abating: real estate web site traffic in May 2009 was up 19 percent over the same month on 2008.
“The increased research taking place online is perhaps showing us that property buyers are getting a large amount of their information needs ticked off via the web before using other media options or physically going to see the property itself,” said Tony Boyte, Research Director of Nielsen New Zealand’s online division.
The Nielsen Annual Real Estate Market Report is based on a site-intercept survey on New Zealand real estate web sites conducted in May and June with a sample size of 1,206 respondents.