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Property seekers favour online over print media


Research confirms property seekers increasingly favour online over print media

AUCKLAND, 25 August 2009 – The growing dominance of specialist real estate websites as the media most preferred by active property buyers has again been highlighted in a major annual survey by media analysts The Nielsen Company.

According to the 4th annual Nielsen Real Estate Market Report – an online survey sponsored by – an emphatic 78% of property-hunting respondents said they had consulted a specialist real estate website in the past week, up from 69% when the survey was conducted last year.

The second most consulted media, company real estate websites, also grew in popularity, with 63% of respondents using them, up from 55% last year. Meanwhile the use of specialist real estate magazines and community/local newspapers, the third and fourth most used media respectively, declined from last year. (For details, see the graph on the following page.)

Research for the 4th annual Nielsen Real Estate Market Report was undertaken during May and June this year, and involved the participation of more than 1,200 active property seekers. As a result of its significant sample size, the Nielsen Real Estate Market Report is considered the most authoritative insight into the attitude and behaviour of those New Zealanders actively looking at purchasing property. CEO Alistair Helm said the growing significance of specialist real estate websites as an indispensible tool for New Zealand property seekers mirrored international trends and could be attributed to the powerful functionality sites such as were able to deliver to users.

“Each year the percentage of property hunters using these specialist sites to find what they’re after edges closer to 100%,” Mr Helm said. “In the US the latest data shows 87% of all respondents are using equivalent websites, with usage by the target group of 25 to 44 year olds as high as 94%.”

This year’s Nielsen Real Estate Market Report also highlighted the increasing polarisation of media choice by property hunters: whilst online options all rose year-on-year, use of print media fell significantly. For example, local newspapers fell from 49% to 40%, national newspapers from 43% to 31% and specialist magazines from 55% to 46%.

“This is a major fall for print media – part of an on-going trend that now sees less than half of respondents seeing value in searching in newspapers and magazines for real estate,” Mr Helm said.

When respondents were asked to rate the different types of media in terms of usefulness, specialist real estate websites again won hands down – 95% stating in the survey that they felt these websites, with their comprehensive content, were useful or very useful. This compares to 83% for specialist magazines and 49% of those surveyed stating that newspapers were useful or very useful in searching for real estate.

Less than 1 in 10 of those surveyed judged newspapers as very useful in searching for property for sale – a striking contrast to the figure of 68% of all those surveyed stating that specialist real estate websites were very useful.

More analysis of the property market can be found on’s Unconditional blog at:

Note: The Nielsen Real Estate Market Report is based on a site-intercept survey on New Zealand real estate websites conducted during May and June with a sample size of 1206 respondents and a margin of error of around 3%.

About is the official website of the New Zealand real estate industry, and provides the most comprehensive selection of listings across all categories of real estate. lists over 100,000 properties at any one time, representing over 90% of all listings currently marketed by real estate professionals.


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