Home Searches Drop, As Do Prices For Houses

Less searching, lower prices, in near-perfect lockstep

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The persistence of housing woes may be seen in the activities of searchers, who perform fewer and fewer queries about home buying.

In looking at a year’s worth of housing data, research firm Hitwise compared details provided by the National Association of Realtors with its data on US online searches for the term, “houses for sale.”

That is the highest volume non-branded search term relating to real estate, Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins said in the post about the comparison. When comparing it to Hitwise information on queries, she found a near-perfect match with the two trends, as shown in this image provided by the firm (click for larger version):

“I ran a correlation analysis and found a very strong (.92) correlation between the median house price and the monthly share of US Internet searches. This is about as close to a perfect correlation as I’ve seen,” said Hopkins.

She believes the correlation won’t be as strong in looking back farther than one year of queries and real estate data. April’s movement of the two activities should be flat, Hopkins said, as the downward trend may be at an end. That of course does not mean a recovery is at hand, unfortunately.

Home Searches Drop, As Do Prices For Houses
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  • CCC

    Incredible that Hitwise would base all their analysis on one keyword.   It goes to show the lack of understanding of the depth of the keyword market by many companies.

    That said, it’s still nice to see the report and it probably would not waver too much if more keywords were entered.  But without testing, who knows for sure?  Long tail keyword searches are usually done by more sophisticated surfers or those who have already done research and/or closer to the point of sale.

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