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In 2012, newspaper continued to lead the way in real estate advertising spending at $563 million (27.7%), followed closely by online advertising at $487 million (23.9%), according to Media Ad View Plus, BIA/Kelsey’s local market ad forecast report.

2012 Real Estate Ad Spending by Media


So nearly 28% of real estate ad spending goes to newspaper and 24% goes to online, according to Media Ad View Plus, but where are home buyers actually looking for homes? According to National Association of Realtors in their 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, “nine in 10 home buyers today rely on the internet as one of their primary research sources, and 52 percent turn to the web as their first step.”  As you can see below, while 90% of home buyers might use Internet as a primary research source, the National Association of Realtors reports that only 27% use newspaper ads.

  • Internet: 90%
  • Real estate agent: 87%
  • Yard sign: 53%
  • Open house: 45%
  • Newspaper ad: 27%
  • Home book or magazine: 18%

In a joint study by National Association of Realtors and Google, entitled The Digital House Hunt: Consumer and Market Trends in Real Estate, they found that 89% of new home shoppers used a mobile search engine and that 68% used a mobile application throughout their research process.

Not surprisingly, given the National Association of Realtors and Google’s findings, online advertising spending is expected to grow rapidly.  By 2017, online is expected to be the medium of choice for real estate, with nearly 41% of the advertising pie, according to Media Ad View Plus. Meanwhile, newspaper’s share of the real estate advertising pie is expected to decline, reaching less than 7% by 2017. Mobile is also expected to benefit from the newspaper industry’s continuing decline, as its share increases from 1% to 12.6%.

2017 Real Estate Ad Spending by Media


BIA/Kelsey is projecting online’s revenue share to start surpassing newspaper’s in the Real Estate vertical in 2013.

More information on Media Ad View Plus is available here.

This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. That is a very interesting study. I had no idea that newspaper is still the top advertising spending for real estate. That surprises me with the decline of newspapers over the past several years. I know that internet spending has increased, but I wonder how long until it overtakes newspaper.

  2. Mary Lou, we are projecting online to begin surpassing newspaper in 2013. I just posted another newspaper advertising blog. A blog post on online advertising revenue will be coming soon.

  3. No doubt internet is best option for real estate advertisement,its rapidly growing,but still large percentage is preferring newspaper advertisement.

  4. Dynabuild, many people do still prefer the traditional newspaper advertisement. But as home buyers are moving to online and mobile for their search process, more and more advertisers are heading that way as well. We are expecting online to continue to grow and surpass newspaper in real estate advertising this year.

  5. I didn’t know newspaper is still the medium of choice for local real estate advertising until I read your blog. You’ve got great insights here, but I can sense that the online advertising will surpass the newspaper advertising soon, but the real question here would be, WHEN?

  6. Jayden, we’re projecting that online advertising revenue will surpass newspaper advertising revenue in the real estate vertical in 2013.

  7. I’ll be doing an update blog on this topic when we release our new numbers.

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