90% of house hunters search online during home buying process, new study shows

REAL ESTATE TRENDS: Google and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) published a report following a joint study called The Digital House Hunt. The principal aim of the study was to observe and provide an analysis of the evolving role of digital media in the consumer home search process. Although the study was conducted in the US, the trends it reveals are reflected globally. Among the report’s key findings was that a 90 per cent of buyers rely on the internet as one of the main search sources, and more than half (52 per cent) search online as the first step of the home buying process.

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The report also revealed that real estate-related search on Google.com increase by a staggering 253 per cent over the past four year, and 22 per cent over the past year. The massive importance of the need for property websites to be optimized for mobile compatibility is highlighted by the statistic that one in five real estate searches happen on mobile devices. In fact Google real estate searches on mobile devices ‘grew 120 per cent from 2011 to 2012’, according to Google Internal date, Q3 2012. The study found that 86% of buyers view videos to find out more about a specific community and 70% use video to see the inside of a home. The joint study also found that YouTube is the top video research destination for property buyers. Full report here  

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