Hispanic home buyers turning to search

A recent article called “Hispanic Home Buyers Becoming a Force in Real Estate”, highlighted an increase in Hispanic/Latino first time home buyers, which made up 11 percent of all first-time home buyers in 2010, an increase of 38% percent over the previous year (Source: National Association of Realtors’ “Profile of Buyers and Sellers”). Curious as how this may translate to online behavior, I started to dig into Hispanic-specific data to understand how search activity around real estate may differ from the online population.

One of the top generic terms to the real estate category is ‘houses for sale’, which when trended over time to compare search activity by Hispanics to the online population, reveals significantly more search volume from Hispanics during the first part of 2012. The peaks in search activity by Hispanics are also far more prominent, particularly during January through March and May. Surprisingly, various Spanish language equivalents of search queries did not yield significant volume and English-language queries were more common within the Real Estate category, possibly due to fewer options available in Spanish.

The websites visited after a search for ‘houses for sale’ also revealed different preferences in terms of destinations. Trulia.com captured the highest share of clicks from Hispanics based upon a rolling average of 12 weeks ending May 26, 2012. The volume of search clicks from Hispanics was nearly 4.5 larger than the online population. Hispanics also showed a much higher propensity to visit Google Maps, suggesting a preference for mapping functionality while shopping for homes online.