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Mobile devices will soon surpass desktop computers as consumers’ preferred method of accessing real estate sites, according to recent trends in data tracked by digital analytics firm comScore.

online poll by Opinion Stage

For the second month in a row, more mobile visitors came to Redfin’s site and realtor.com operator Move Inc.’s network of websites in May than from desktop computers, according to comScore.

Move and Redfin are the first among operators of the 15 most popular real estate sites to capture more visitors from mobile than desktop traffic. Realtor.com makes up the bulk of the traffic to Move Inc.’s network, which also includes move.com and listhub.net, a comScore spokesman told Inman News.

Top 5 real estate networks by Web traffic, May 2014

Real estate networkTotal unique visitors in MayDesktop unique visitorsMobile unique visitors
All sites94.0 million64.3 million54.7 million
Zillow (Yahoo) network53.8 million32.3 million30.6 million
Trulia (RentPath) network30.8 million17.7 million16.8 million
Move Inc. network23.7 million13.1 million13.4 million
Homes.com (ForRent.com) network10.6 million5.9 million5.3 million
Redfin5.9 million3.0 million3.2 million

Source: comScore  

The other most visited real estate networks in May — Zillow, Trulia and Homes.com — have seen the gap between mobile and desktop visitors narrow this spring.

Take Zillow as an example. In March, 5.9 million more visitors came to its site from desktop computers than from mobile devices. In May, that gap is now 1.7 million. Trulia and Homes.com have seen a similar narrowing over the same time span.

Overall, more visitors still come to real estate sites from desktop computers than from mobile devices.

Of the 94 million consumers who visited a real estate site in May, 68.4 percent did so from a desktop computer. By comparison, 58.2 percent came from mobile devices. (The two percentages add up to more than 100, because some users access sites using both desktop computers and mobile devices.)

As with the top sites, that gap is shrinking. In March, the separation between traffic from desktop computers and mobile devices to real estate sites was 19.1 percentage points. In May, it was 10.2 percentage points.

Zillow maintains its sizable Web traffic lead

Zillow has been building a healthy Web traffic lead over competitors Trulia and realtor.com so far this year, but comScore data shows Trulia closed the gap some in May.

Unique visitor traffic to most popular real estate sites, May 2014

WebsiteMay mobile and desktop unique visitors% of total unique visitors to real estate sites in May
zillow.com44.2 million47.0%
trulia.com26.4 million28.1%
realtor.com22.2 million23.6%

Source: comScore

Zillow captured 44.2 million unique visitors from desktop and mobile devices in May, representing 47 percent of all real estate visitors that month, according to data from comScore.

Trulia, which captured 20.3 percent of all visitors to real estate sites in April, grew its real estate Web visitor share to 28.1 percent in May. It shrunk the gap between Zillow and its traffic from 25.7 percentage points in April to 18.9 percentage points in May.

Some of Trulia’s traffic gain may be attributable to a new mobile website Trulia rolled out in March that has yet to register fully in comScore numbers. It contributed more to Trulia’s traffic in May than in April, Trulia spokesman Matt Flegal told Inman News. By June, comScore numbers should be an accurate reflection of traffic to Trulia’s mobile site, he said.

Realtor.com, with 22.2 million unique visitors from desktop and mobile devices in May, held steady at 23.4 percentage points behind Zillow.

Top 15 real estate sites

ComScore supplies Inman News with the top 15 real estate sites by unique visitor traffic in terms of their networks.

For example, Zillow’s visitor tally includes visitors to Yahoo Homes, with which Zillow has a marketing relationship, and rental site HotPads.com, which Zillow acquired in November 2012.

Trulia’s network includes traffic from RentPath Inc., which owns the popular sites apartmentguide.com and rent.com and is the exclusive provider of multifamily listings on Trulia under an agreement the firms forged in November 2012.

Move’s network includes realtor.com, realtor.org, and a handful of Move-owned sites like move.com and listhub.net.

Top 15 real estate networks by Web traffic, May 2014

Real estate networkTotal unique visitors in MayDesktop unique visitorsMobile unique visitors
All real estate sites94.0 million64.3 million54.7 million
Zillow (Yahoo) real estate network53.8 million32.3 million30.6 million
Trulia (RentPath) network30.8 million17.7 million16.8 million
Move Inc. network23.7 million13.1 million13.4 million
Homes.com (ForRent.com) network10.6 million5.9 million5.3 million
Redfin5.9 million3.0 million3.2 million
MSN Real Estate5.4 million4.9 million0.6 million
Apartments.com sites4.9 million2.9 million2.2 million
Coldwell Banker Real Estate4.3 million3.0 million1.5 million
Movoto4.2 million2.4 million1.9 million
Century 21 International3.5 million2.2 million1.4 million
LoopNet sites2.5 million1.7 million0.9 million
U-Haul2.5 million1.2 million1.3 million
NCI Interactive2.1 million1.2 million1.0 million
Internet Brands Real Estate1.6 million0.9 million0.7 million
Apartment List (formerly Vertical Brands)1.5 million1.0 million0.5 million

Source: comScore

Movoto, the brokerage and referral site that appears to operate as a “paper brokerage” in at least two of its markets, has moved down from No. 8 in April to No. 9 in May with 4.2 million unique visitors, trading places with Coldwell Banker Real Estate. A paper brokerage is a company that displays multiple listing service data ordinarily reserved for brokerage and agent websites, but which does not represent buyers or sellers, referring business to other brokers instead.

Although Movoto’s ranking slipped, the share of real estate visitors to its site grew in May from the month before from 4.2 percent to 4.5 percent.

The San Mateo, California-based firm, which was acquired by Japanese global human resources giant Recruit Holdings Company Ltd. in October, signed a referral agreement with Houses.com in May to generate business.