(마이애미 한인) WASHINGTON – Jan. 7, 2013 – Real estate-related searches on Google.com have grown 253 percent over the past four years, according to a joint study from the National Association of Realtors® and Google called The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate.
“These results parallel the trends shown in NAR’s economic research reports,” says NAR President Gary Thomas. “As home sales and prices continue to trend up, more people are regaining confidence to invest in their future through homeownership.”
According to the analysis, buyers used specific online tools at different points during the home search process. Buyers tend to rely on search engines and general websites when they begin their search, use maps more in the middle of the process, and engage mobile applications most toward the end of their search.
In their online search queries, first-time buyers frequently searched terms like “FHA loan,” “FHA,” “home grants,” “home loan,” and “home buyer assistance.” Last year, more than four out of 10 first-time buyers purchased their homes with a Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgage.
Mirroring the Google/NAR study, search activity on Realtor.com has also picked up significantly in recent months – a 31 percent increase nationwide between March and October.
According to Google internal data, the five states with the highest number of online queries from people who can be presumed to be first-time buyers were Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Wyoming. Queries related to retirement homes were highest in Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Washington. For vacation home searches, the top five states were Florida, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina and South Dakota.
Another change of note: Mobile devices are significantly changing the way people search for homes. According to results from Google’s home shopper research with Compete, 48 percent of people who used a mobile device in their home search used the device to get directions to homes for sale, and 45 percent used the device to request more information about specific home features or real estate services.
“Increasingly, online technologies are driving offline behaviors, and home buying is no exception,” says Google Head of Real Estate Patrick Grandinetti. “With 90 percent of home buyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information – for example through paid search, relevant websites, video environments and mobile applications.”
© 2013 Florida Realtors®