Along with its rankings of the top US real estate websites, Hitwise has released another set of figures this month that show the effects of the US housing slump on people’s online property search habits.
According to US-based figures from the metrics company, visits to its real estate category declined 22 percent year-over-year in April. That marks 11 consecutive months of year-over-year traffic declines – a trend that started in June 2009.
However, when Hitwise analysed figures for the category of home and apartment rental websites, excluding holiday rentals, a different trend emerged. Visits were up 45 percent in April compared to the same month last year. In fact, visits to rental websites have increased year-over-year for the past 10 months.
Hitwise has also found that searches related to rental properties have increased amongst the terms driving traffic to websites in its real estate category. The most popular term ranked by overall share of search clicks was “apartments for rent”, which increased 162 percent for the four weeks ending May 8 as compared to the same period two years ago.