Realty Sites Move Uptown In Ratings

Talk about shopping at home. Internet users are shopping for a home, while they shop at home. According to Nielsen//Net Ratings most recent report more than 12 million users, or nearly 10 percent of the online active population accessed real estate and rental sites in March 2003. The sites have become a tool to research homes, find a real estate agent, and utilize financial tools such as mortgage calculators.

In terms of individual sites, claimed the top spot with nearly 4.6 million unique visitors in March. locked in the No. 2 position with more than 3.6 million visitors. HomeGain attracted 1.2 million visitors, jumping 48 percent from 793,000 visitors in March 2002. Traffic to Yahoo! Real Estate increased five percent to more than one million surfers.

Traditional real estate sites also made big gains in audience traffic. Century 21 jumped 24 percent with 979,000 visitors from home and work in March 2003. Surfers spent an average of 23 minutes at the site, up from nearly 16 minutes last year. RE/MAX attracted 767,000 visitors in March 2003, up 44 percent from March 2002. Coldwell Banker also made gains in traffic, posting 730,000 unique visitors in March 2003, as compared to 720,000 for last year.

Visitors to the traditional real estate sites also visited competitor sites. Of those visiting Coldwell Banker in March 2003, more than 25 percent of the audience traffic also went to RE/MAX. Twenty-eight percent of Coldwell Banker's audience traffic went to Century 21, while nearly 53 percent of the audience traffic also visited

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