Chicago, IL (PRWEB) January 16, 2013
The National Association of Realtors and Google recently teamed up for a joint study that showed real estate searches on the search engine have increased by 253 percent over the past year, proving the internet is now the new normal when looking to secure a home. One mortgage bank, The Federal Savings Bank, has experienced firsthand the positive outcome of this social shift, which has been a large increase in online loan applications.
The NAR and Google released The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate study, which showed the significant increase in the number of Americans who look to purchase a home after looking up information on the internet.
Analysis put together by the two organizations showed that buyers used specific online tools at different times during their homebuying process, mostly relying on Google during the search process. The most searched terms that first-time homebuyers used during their quest for a new home were "FHA loan," "FHA," "home grants," home loan" and "home buyer assistance."
“The fact that first-time buyers are looking for information about FHA loan programs and home buyer assistance underscores some of the challenges today’s home buyers face in today’s tight credit environment,” said Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, California. “Realtors are excellent sources of information and can help buyers navigate the mortgage financing process.”
Google internal data showed the five states that had the highest number of online queries from people who were thought to be first-time homebuyers, including Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Wyoming. Searches for the best states for retirement homes were revealed to be seen the most in Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Virginia and Washington.
“Increasingly, online technologies are driving offline behaviors, and home buying is no exception,” said Google Head of Real Estate Patrick Grandinetti. “With 90 percent of homebuyers searching online during their home buying process, the real estate industry is smart to target these people where they look for and consume information – for example through paid search, relevant websites, video environments and mobile applications.”
Americans search for directions
Mobile devices are also playing a significant role in the way Americans search for homes. According to the results of the study, 48 percent of people used a mobile device to get directions for a home sale and 45 percent used their phones to request more information about homes.
"The new year could be a great year for homebuyers and those who are thinking about selling their homes, as Americans are expecting home prices to continue increasing, according to Fannie Mae. Since prices are already low, Americans can still take advantage of the housing market, while those who are thinking about selling can wait until their home values have increased significantly," says a spokesperson at The Federal Savings Bank.