Kelsey: Online Real Estate Classifieds To Reach $3.4B

Real estate classified spending in 2006 will reach $7.75 billion, according to market research firm The Kelsey Group. Of the total, 44.3%, or around $3.43 billion, will come from online listings, paid search, newspapers' Web sites and other online sources.

"Clearly, the underlying buyer and seller trends suggest we are reaching a tipping point regarding the transition of ad dollars from offline media to online media," said Matt Booth, Kelsey Group senior vice president and program director, interactive local media and marketplaces, in a statement.

Kelsey Group research, however, found a disparity between real estate sellers and buyers when it comes to online advertising. A telephone survey of 1,000 consumers revealed that just 7.3% of sellers said they would place an ad online first. (The study defined sellers as those who had sold a home in the last six months or could envision selling one.)

By contrast, of actual or potential buyers, nearly 27% said they would go online first to look for real estate classifieds. "Sellers still like to see their house in print," said Neal Polachek, senior vice president, advisory services, research and consulting, at Kelsey Group.

Among buyers who said they go online, 79% were 18 to 34 years old. More than half--51%--of the respondents who had a recent real estate transaction were in that age group.

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