Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Real Estate sites feeling it as interest rates start to bite

I saw this post on TC about selected US real estate sites bucking the downturn in the market and seeing strong usage increases.

It made me wonder what impact the continuing interest rate rises have had on the Real Estate category online in AU.

We bought a place last year in November, moving in in January and have been bombarded with rate rises since.

However when we were in the market it was white hot. The market for new homes up until the end of December 07 was incredibly competitive.
Take a look at the below graph (taken from Nielsen Netview, July 2008) ...

Real Estate as a category was peaking around January 2008 ... and since Jan has dropped over 15% of users (until July). The trend is evident - and across market leaders and Domain as well as the category
You have to wonder what impact interest rates and economic uncertainty has had on this.
I have noticed some real estate sites have been a lot more aggressive in market seeking display advertising - offering very low CPMs to try and woo non real estate/finance clients over to their sites - which might be a consequence of falling revenues for their bread and butter - real estate listings and finance tenancies.

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