Right up there with Twittering and people seeking info about the swine flu at the Centers for Disease Control, online real estate sites are seeing a boom in traffic.
Web tracker commScore reports the Real Estate category saw a 10 percent increase to 48.4 million visitors in April. Move Network, parent of Realtor.com, led as the most visited real estate site attracting 13.2 million visitors (up 88 percent vs. March), followed by Yahoo! Real Estate with 6.8 million visitors (up
11 percent) and AOL Real Estate with 3.6 million visitors (up 15 percent).
The start of spring led many Americans to consider home repairs and remodeling, driving traffic to sites that are home imrpovement related. About.com Home & Garden led the category with nearly 4 million visitors (up 16 percent), followed by AOL Home with 3.8 million visitors (up 29 percent) and Better Homes & Gardens Network with 3.8 million visitors (up 13 percent).
You wouldn’t know the company was doing so well from looking at Move’s financial results. Last week the company reported revenue for the first quarter was $54.9 million, compared to $61.9 million in the first quarter of 2008. Loss from continuing operations for the first quarter was $8.9 million, compared to a loss of $0.8 million for the first quarter of 2008. The first quarter 2009 results reflected non-recurring charges due to the departure of two senior executives, which included $1.9 million in severance pay and $8.7 million in stock-based compensation charges associated with those departures and the hiring of a new chief executive officer.
BusinessWeek editors Chris Palmeri, Prashant Gopal and Peter Coy chronicle the highs and lows of the housing and mortgage markets on their Hot Property blog. In print and online, the Hot Property team first wrote about the potential downside of lenders pushing riskier, "option ARM" mortgages and the rise in mortgage fraud back in 2005—well ahead of many other media outlets. In 2008, Hot Property bloggers finished #1 in a ranking of the world's top 100 "most powerful property people" by the British real estate website Global edge. Hot Property was named among the 25 most influential real estate blogs of 2007 by Inman News.