Providing greater insight into the NZ property market

I have just returned from the annual Inman Connect conference in San Francisco. This conference is an intense 3 days of technology and real estate fused into a demanding schedule attended by over 1,500 agents together with around 200 technology and web company participants – all very much focused on the future of real estate online.

A key theme of the conference (a broader outline is detailed later in this email) was the transparency and critical importance of good information on the property market. This is something that at realestate.co.nz we see as a key principle which we uphold to assist the industry better manage their relationship with clients by providing timely, relevant and unique information.

Since April we have been publishing each month the NZ Property Report a unique insight into the property market from the perspective of inventory movements – new listings and asking price expectations. This data is being seen very positively by economists and commentators as it provides a lead indicator of the trends in the market.

In addition to the latest NZ Property Report citing the rise in listings, we are tracking a very strong level of web traffic on realestate.co.nz as with other real estate websites over the past month. These statistics are detailed in this short report which can be downloaded here which provides some helpful charts and statistics on the market and the website which you can print off and use in client presentations.

Some key points to note in the presentation:

• Overall search traffic on real estate website in general climbs back over 1,000,000 sessions per week
• Strong seasonal early spring pick up in searching for property
• The top 2 websites dominate the market with a clear split of audience between them
• Realestate.co.nz continues to drive more international traffic – it is clearly the #1 site with 50% more traffic than any other website

August 14 2009 | Market stats and Web facts | No Comments »

NZ Property Report – new insight into the market

Earlier this month we launched to the public and the media the first of what will become a regular monthly Property Report. The report is compiled from statistics of the website and provides a unique perspective on the real estate market as seen from the new listings coming onto the market.

The report which is being produced on the first day of each month will hopefully in future months be seen as an early indicator as to the state of the market as measured by movements of inventory of new listings as well as the trend in the asking price of property listings.

Our aim is for this indicator to be judged by the industry, the public and the media as a new complementary guide to the state of the market – is it judged to be “a buyer’s market or a seller’s market” matched to “price expectation rising or falling” – monitored in the same way that the REINZ sales data and median price data is reported.

The website is in a unique position to produce such a report being the most comprehensive source of real estate listings (58,000 properties for sale from among 112,000 listings) – as represented by over 93% of the licensed offices in NZ.

This first report which benefits from being able to track back to January 2007 highlighted what had become a growing trend of increasing price expectation for new listings up to a median price of $399,000 for March. Equally reflecting the current state of the market in general new listing numbers are down.

Read more details of the report here or download a copy to share with your clients and colleagues

April 20 2009 | Market stats | No Comments »

February 2009 – realestate.co.nz report

This month’s report on the realestate.co.nz website is titled “Supporting and protecting the industry” – this is a key principle of the operation of the realestate.co.nz as we continue to be challenged by major media competition.

What is pleasing is the fact that whilst the industry continues to experience the most difficult trading conditions with the consequential decline in the number of real estate offices our subscriber base continues to grow – ever closer to the 100% of all licensed offices which is our goal. At this time we have close to 93% of all office. This clearly demonstrates the recognition the industry has as to the value the site brings to their offices, agents and clients.

I am pleased to have received so many favourable comments from around the industry on the previous 2 reports, clearly this monthly report is helpful in selling vendors on the value of online marketing and for promoting the website as a valuable marketing tool.

Download a copy of the presentation here or review the pages below:

March 09 2009 | News and Online marketing and Web facts | No Comments »

What does online visitor duplication mean?

I was asked the question the other day by a real estate office – “so what is all this stuff about duplication of visitors across real estate websites?”

The question was prompted by a fact sheet distributed to the office showing that in the month of July the website of allrealestate.co.nz had 166,280 property seekers who visited their site and did not visit realestate.co.nz, together with 58,913 who visited both sites. The particular document with this information is available to review here.

The figures represented in this document are correct – however seen in isolation they can be misleading. It is best to see the same result for realestate.co.nz and then you begin to see the true picture. The diagram below highlights this.

In July based purely on domestic web traffic realestate.co.nz had 135,511 unique browser visits and allrealestate.co.nz had 69,751unique browser visits- there was a group of 46,166 browsers who visited both sites. Equally the figures when you include international visitors are respectively 233,565 for realestate.co.nz; 166,280 for allrealestate.co.nz and 58,913 visiting both.

The key fact that as a real estate professional you need to know is how many active buyers there are – now in NZ there are only ever around 35,000 active buyers in the market at anyone time and the reality is these buyers visit many websites and may well end up looking at both of these sites; that is why the number of duplicates at 46,166 is larger than this core group of 35,000.

The other key fact is that at anyone time there are thousands of people looking at websites for which they have no real interest – real estate is no exception. That is why there will always be a small relative overlap. The fact is that to say that you need one website because they can deliver property seekers that another one does not deliver, is not completely true as this group outside of the duplicate group more-than-likely are not actually property seekers, but just casual web browsers.

Finally another way of presenting these statistics is shown below. In the month of July of the 181,677 visitors to realestate.co.nz from within NZ – just 25% also went to allrealestate.co.nz, whereas of the 115,917 total NZ visitors to allrealestate.co.nz – 40% had already checked out realestate.co.nz.

I think that better explains overlap of audience.

August 29 2008 | Market stats | No Comments »