Desktop visits to real estate websites jump 15 percent in March

Trulia, gain slightly on Zillow; Re/Max enters the top 20

Visits to real estate sites from desktop computers surged 15 percent in March compared to the month before, indicating the spring homebuying season has gotten off to a hot start.

Consumers recorded about 362 million visits to real estate sites from desktop computers last month, a good chunk more than February’s 316 million visitors, according to Experian Marketing Services.

Zillow maintained its sizable Web market lead in the real estate category in March — capturing 16.46 percent of visits to real estate sites from desktop computers for the month, according to Experian, which measures total hits and not unique site visitors.

Zillow’s two chief competitors — Trulia, with 8.91 percent market share, and, with 7.49 percent market share — closed in slightly on Zillow’s lead over the course of the month. Compared to their February positions, Trulia and closed their gaps with Zillow by 0.32 percentage points and 0.3 percentage points, respectively, for the month.

By capturing 0.86 percent of March’s real estate traffic from desktop computers, Re/Max jumped to No. 18, joining Century 21 Real Estate — which ranked No. 16 with 0.99 percent Web market share in March — as the only other real estate franchisor website in the top 20.

These figures come with an important caveat: Americans now use mobile devices more than desktop computers to access the Internet now, according to comScore data referenced in a February CNN Money article. In addition, both Zillow and Trulia now report that a majority of their traffic comes from mobile devices.

Top 20 real estate websites, March 2014

WebsiteTotal visitsShare of visitsFebruary rank
1. Zillow59.6 million16.46%1
2. Trulia.com32.3 million8.91%2
3. Realtor.com27.1 million7.49%3
4. Yahoo! Homes21.3 million5.87%4
5. Homes.com9.6 million2.65%5
6. Apartment Guide6.0 million1.65%6
7. MSN Real Estate5.1 million1.40%9
8. Rent.com4.4 million1.20%7
9. HomeAway4.3 million1.18%11
10. Redfin4.2 million1.16%8
11. Caring.com4.1 million1.12%17
12. LoopNet3.9 million1.09%10
13. Apartments.com3.8 million1.04%12
14. Movoto3.8 million1.04%14
15. ForRent.com3.6 million0.99%13
16. Century 21 Real Estate3.6 million0.99%16
17. ZipRealty3.4 million0.94%15
18. Re/Max3.1 million0.86%22
19. HotPads.com3.0 million0.82%21
20. HAR.com2.9 million0.79%19

Source: Experian Marketing Services