ForeclosureStore.com, a foreclosure-related real estate search site, and virtual tour company VisualTour.com joined a monthly top-20 list of popular real estate sites in January, Web metrics company Hitwise reported today. ForeclosureStore.com had ranked 27th in December 2008, and VisualTour.com ranked 22nd that month.

ForeclosureStore.com, a foreclosure-related real estate search site, and virtual tour company VisualTour.com joined a monthly top-20 list of popular real estate sites in January, Web metrics company Hitwise reported today. ForeclosureStore.com had ranked 27th in December 2008, and VisualTour.com ranked 22nd that month.

Real estate marketing site Homegain.com moved up three places to sixth on the list from December 2008 to January 2009 and apartment-search portal MyNewPlace.com dropped from 19th in December to 16th in January, Hitwise also reported.

The Hitwise rankings are based on the market share of visits to real estate sites among the company’s sample of 10 million U.S. Internet users. The company tracked data for 3,247 real estate category Web sites in January.

Longtime leader Realtor.com maintained it’s dominance on the list with 6.7 percent market share in January among real estate sites tracked by Hitwise, and Yahoo’s RealEstate.Yahoo.com remained in second with 3.38 percent market share in January, down from 4.12 percent in December.

Zillow.com was third on the list with 2.9 percent market share in January, followed by ZipRealty.com (2.36 percent), Rent.com (2.17 percent), Homegain.com (1.95 percent), ReMax.com (1.86 percent), ServiceMagic.com (1.79 percent), HUD.gov (1.63 percent), and Trulia.com (1.49 percent).

Move.com, which ranked 19th in December, and WhiteFence.com, which ranked 20th in December, left the top-20 list in January.

About 66.2 percent of all traffic to real estate Web sites went to the top-100 sites in that category in January, roughly level with the December share. And the average visit duration for real estate category Web sites was 12 minutes, 14 seconds in January, up from 11 minutes, 47 seconds in December.

Seven sites joined the Hitwise top-100 list in January that were not on the list in December: RatePlug.com (from 194th to 70th), MyDreamHomeMakeover.com (did not rank in December, 72nd in January), ForeclosuresToGo.com (106th to 75th), LivingChoices.com (115th to 79th), RentalHouses.com (109th to 85th), ForeclosureToGo.com (120th to 92nd), and HarmonHomes.com (112th to 97th).

The seven sites that left the top-100 list in January include: Realtor.org (62nd to 113th), Westfield.com.au (66th to 161st), HomeScape.com (70th to 240th), LandsofAmerica.com (72nd to 126th), Movoto.Foreclosure.com (87th to 107th), GoSection8.com (95th to 111st), and RealtyBid.com (98th to 169th).

Top real estate search terms leading to real estate Web sites during the four-week period ending Jan. 31 include: "realtor.com," "remax," "zillow," "apartments for rent," "real estate," "zillow.com," "century21," "remax.com homes for sale," "realtor," and "homes for sale."

Fast-moving sites — which made substantial gains in the Hitwise rankings during the four-month period ending January 2009, include: BostonRealEstate.com (up 1,189 places), LandToday.com (up 884 places), NewHomes.NJ.com (up 704 places), NeighborCity.com (up 474 places), VillageRealtyOBX.com (up 298 places), ResortVacationProperties.com (up 250 places), RealTimeRental.com (up 224 places), SunRealtyNC.com (up 154 places), HomeAway.com (up 22 places), and ForeclosureStore.com (up 10 places).

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