MSN Real Estate boosted its market share of Internet traffic in July to break into the ranks of the 10 most visited real estate Web sites as tracked by Hitwise.

MSN Real Estate was the only newcomer in the top 10 list, rising from 17th place in June to ninth place and bumping Zip Realty to 11th place on the Hitwise report in the process.

The top 10 real estate Web sites cornered 29.2 percent of all visits in the online real estate category in July, compared to 11.4 percent for those ranked 11th through 20th.

Rentors.org, a site dedicated to vacation rentals, was the only new addition to Hitwise’s list of top 20 real estate sites. The site continued its steady rise in the rankings during the last several months to displace MLS of Northern Illinois.

Move Inc.’s Realtor.com, the official site of the National Association of Realtors, not only maintained its dominant position at the top of the list but boosted market share from 7.99 percent in June to 8.37 percent in July. Realtor.com’s market share remained below a recent high in April of 8.42 percent.

The foreclosure tracking site RealtyTrac held onto its second-place position on the Hitwise list, but saw its market share fall to 3.69 percent in July, down 16 basis points from 3.85 percent the month before.

Homegain boosted market share from 2.88 percent in June to 3.03 percent in July to bump Rent.com out of third place on the Hitwise list. Rent.com saw market share decline 21 basis points to 2.78 percent, and fell to fourth place on the Hitwise list.

Other top 20 sites to fall in the rankings were Yahoo! Real Estate (down two positions to 8th), Move.com (down one position to 10th), ServiceMagic (falling two positions to 15th), Apartment Guide (falling from 11th place to 18th), and Coldwell Banker Real Estate (down four places to 19th).

Sites moving up on the list included Apartments.com (to 6th place from 8th), VisualTour.com (up one position to 13th), Homes.com (up two positions to 14th), HUD (to 16th from 19th), and ForRent.com (up one position to 17th).

The seven sites breaking into Hitwise’s rankings of the top 100 real estate Web sites were: Homes Just Listed (ranked 79th on the list), RatePlug (81) HomeListings USA (90), LandAndFarm.com (93), HomeRentals.net (95), Cincinnati.com HomeFinder (97), and RE/MAX Northern Illinois (99).

The sites displaced from the top 100 were Domania (which fell to 268th place), Real Tracs (116), Fidelity MLS Solutions (102), RMLS (103), lvarmls.rapmls.com (124), ResortQuest.com (110), and ForeclosureToGo.com (114).

With the exception of Domania, all of the sites leaving the top 100 list were on the bottom 10 percent of the list. Domania had been ranked 22nd in June.

Domania Vice President of Marketing Rick Finch said Domania’s traffic was actually up 5 percent from June to July, and that the Hitwise report may represent a “dramatic understatement” of the site’s true position in relation to its competitors.

“We have not made any changes (to the site) so the best thing that can be said is that although Hitwise generally is a good indicator of traffic trends in the online space, there is no precipitating action on our side that would have caused the reported decline.”

Fast-moving sites that have yet to crack the top 100 list included Real Estate USA (up 295 places), Buyers USA Relocation (up 254), Pirate’s Cove Realty (up 259), ERA Pacesetter Partners (up 278), Brinkoetter and Associates (up 166), Obxmls.net (up 139), Rent-Direct.com (up 93), Foreclosure Deals (up 68), Tomlinson Black (up 60) and Rentals.com (up 46).

The top 30 real estate search terms in July were realtor.com, remax, apartments, century 21, homes for sale, real estate, zillow.com, www.realtor.com, remax.com, for sale by owner, coldwell banker, apartments for rent, zillow, rent.com, realtor, houses for rent, homes for rent, mls, hud, houses for sale, mls listings, california assisted living facilities, apartment finder, foreclosures, hud homes, apartments.com, www.remax.com, apartment guide, century 21 real estate and foreclosed homes.

Top 20 real estate Web sites

Rank (July)

Web site

Market share %

1

Realtor.com

8.37

2

RealtyTrac

3.69

3

Homegain

3.03

4

Rent.com

2.78

5

RE/MAX Real Estate

2.63

6

Apartments.com

2.02

7

Zillow

1.92

8

Yahoo! Real Estate

1.89

9

MSN Real Estate

1.46

10

Move.com

1.43

11

ZipRealty

1.43

12

Century 21 Real Estate

1.30

13

VisualTour.com

1.27

14

Homes.com

1.25

15

ServiceMagic

1.24

16

HUD

1.16

17

ForRent.com

.97

18

Apartment Guide

.96

19

Coldwell Banker Real Estate

.94

20

Rentors.org

.83

Source: Hitwise

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