Traffic to real estate Web sites increased 27 percent in February–the highest level since the first half of 2009. A bigger appetite for rentals has mostly driven the increase in real estate site traffic, according to a webinar by Experian Hitwise, in which it released its search tracking data.
The Web sites boasting the largest year-over-year increases in traffic were devoted to rental or rent-to-own listings, says Heather Dougherty, research director at Hitwise.
Also, traffic coming from social networks to real estate sites increased 61 percent year-over-year in February. Traffic to real estate sites from Facebook increasing 42 percent alone. Social networks now account for 4 percent of the overall traffic to real estate Web sites, Dougherty notes. The largest year-over-year increases in social media traffic last month were Yahoo! Real Estate, Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com.
The following are the 10 most popular search terms on real estate sites in the last year, according to Hitwise:
1. “rent to own homes”
2. “rent to own”
4. “for rent by owner”
5. “puerto rico real estate”
6. “houses for rent in orlando”
7. “apartments for rent in michigan”
8. “low income apartments”
9. “houses for rent by owner”
10. “reverse mortgage”
Source: “Rental Interest Drives Real Estate Search Traffic,” Inman News (March 25, 2011); Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee