Hopes rose for a comeback in the U.S. housing market with recent announcements that new home sales rose again in July, posting the highest numbers since September 2008. Mirroring the rise in home sales in July was the increase in visitors to the top U.S. real estate Web sites. Traffic increased 11 percent month-over-month, from 20.7 million visitors in June to 23.1 million in July as year-over-year growth to the sites grew 18 percent.
Surprisingly, online advertising by these top real estate companies declined month-over-month, with online display ads decreasing by 42 percent, from 37.1 million impressions in June 2009 to 21.4 million in July.
Who’s House Hunting Online?
In July, people living in households of just one or two were nearly 50 percent more likely than the average Web visitor to head online to check real estate listings. Potential home buyers between the ages of 25 and 34 were 29 percent more likely to visit the top real estate sites and those with no children were 32 percent more likely to check out these sites in July.
Surprisingly, despite the fact that lower home prices are affording a wider range of income levels to get into their first home, visitors to the top real estate sites over-indexed among the wealthy, those earning a $100k or more per year.
Growth Mixed Globally
While U.S. growth to real estate sites was notable, not all countries are experiencing the same uptick in real estate ventures. A few of the countries that Nielsen measure’s, experienced month-over-month declines in unique visitors to the top real estate Web sites in July. In France, traffic fell 10 percent, while Spain experienced a 7 percent decrease and Switzerland a 4 percent decline.
On a positive note, the number of Brazilians who visited the top real estate Web sites increased by 30 percent month-over-month, growing from 2.1 million visitors in June to 2.8 million in July. Germany has the 2nd highest growth rate in July, increasing 19 percent.
|Month-over-Month Growth in Unique Visitors to Retail Sites by Country|
|Country||Month-over-Month % Growth|
|Source: The Nielsen Company
*Switzerland data is for Home only
**Data for Australia cannot be trended due to recent methodology changes