Real estate search site Realtor.com has seen a jump in online searches within dozens of market areas in July compared to the same month last year, with surges in searches within some markets that have experienced heavy foreclosure activity, like the Stockton-Lodi, Calif., area, Las Vegas and Detroit.
According to data by comScore Media Metrix, a Web metrics company, the volume of traffic at Realtor.com rose 29 percent overall, time spent on the site rose 26 percent and number of page views grew 22 percent year-over-year in July, Realtor.com parent company Move Inc. reported.
Searches on Realtor.com grew 140.9 percent in the Stockton-Lodi market in July 2008 compared to July 2008, according to the report, with searches growing 93.9 percent in Las Vegas; 86.3 percent in Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif.; 73.6 percent in Oakland, Calif.; 71.4 percent in San Jose, Calif.; 69.5 percent in Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla.; 66.2 percent in Naples, Fla.; 65 percent in Sacramento, Calif.; 62.8 percent in Orange County, Calif.; 56.7 percent in Miami, Fla.; 51.8 percent in Detroit, Mich. and 50 percent in Fresno, Calif.
Ten of the 20 markets that saw the biggest year-over-year growth in searches at Realtor.com in July are located in California, and seven are located in Florida — and real estate markets in both states have been among the hardest hit during the real estate downturn, with sharp declines in sales and prices and sharp rises in foreclosure activity in some market areas in these states.
At the lower end of the markets with year-over-year search increases at Realtor.com are Roanoke, Va., up 1 percent; Wilmington, N.C., up 1.1 percent; Portland-Vancouver, Ore.-Wash., up 1.1 percent; Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., up 1.2 percent; and Boise City, Idaho up 1.5 percent.
According to Hitwise, another online metrics company, the average visit duration for real estate category Web sites in July was 11 minutes and 28 seconds, down slightly from 11 minutes and 45 seconds in June 2008 but up from 11 minutes and seven seconds in July 2007.
Realtor.com consistently ranks at the top of the comScore and Hitwise list of top real estate category Web sites for its volume of online visitors — the site had a 7.33 percent market share of visits to real estate category Web sites in July 2008, compared with second-place Yahoo Real Estate with a 3.06 percent market share.
What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.