Apartment searches at the Apartments.com Web site more than doubled in Chicago and Los Angeles in 2006 compared to the prior year, and site visits increased 20 percent overall, according to an announcement today.

Searches for Chicago apartments increased 214 percent and Los Angeles apartments increased 203 percent in 2006.

Apartments.com, a search site that is a division of media company Classified Ventures LLC, also reported growth of 182 percent in search volume for Phoenix apartments, 168 percent in Fort Lauderdale, 163 percent in Atlanta, 158 percent in Detroit, 157 percent in New York, 156 percent in Tampa, 153 percent in Orlando and 144 percent in the San Jose-Silicon Valley market in 2006 compared to the prior year.

In total, there were 43 markets identified by Apartments.com with over 100 percent growth in the number of searches in 2006 compared to 2005. Apartments.com reported 45 million site visits in 2006.

A survey of site visitors found that 85 percent of renters plan to move to another rental apartment this year, and 43 percent said their primary reason for moving was to find a larger apartment. About 34 percent of moving renters said their primary reason to move was to reduce their monthly rent payment.

The survey also revealed that 42 percent of the moving renters planned to stay within the same city. And Apartments.com reported that 84 percent of renters plan to use online sources to research their move.

The survey is based on responses from 689 visitors to the Apartments.com Web site.

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