CHICAGO, August 22, 2006 – Online rentals category leader Apartments.com reports record breaking site visits and leads to advertisers during peak rental season this year. The increase of site visits and leads on Apartments.com is consistent with the uncertainty surrounding the rising interest rate environment and the “for purchase” real estate slow-down.
According to internal statistics, visits to Apartments.com during May, June and July of this year increased by nearly 20% over 2005 to more than 4.5 million visits per month. During the same period, the number of leads sent to advertisers increased by more than 25%. In the month of July, Apartments.com reported the third straight month of record breaking leads sent to advertisers and the highest month of visits ever in the site’s history.
“As home buyer confidence weakens and the cost of owning a home escalates, we are seeing even higher demands by consumers for rental property,” said Kevin Doyle, senior vice president and general manager of Apartments.com. According to analysis reported by Marcus & Millichap, the national median mortgage payment is twice the amount of the monthly median rental payment. “We sense that as the cost of owning a home rises significantly across the country, more and more consumers will turn to renting as a preferred lifestyle choice,” Doyle continued.
The trend of apartment rental communities “going condo” is starting to decline, and in some cases, reverse itself. Communities that cancelled advertising on Apartments.com due to condo conversions are now appearing back on the site as rental properties. In 2005, at the height of the real estate boom, Apartments.com saw a spike in cancellations due to condo conversion. In 2006, that trend has slowed.
Apartments.com estimates that the demand for rental housing will continue to increase and predicts that 2006 will be a record breaking year by all measurements. With current projections, the site is on target to drive over 20% more visits and an estimated 25% more leads to advertisers than in 2005.
Apartments.com is the most visited national apartment Internet listing subscription service distinguished by more than two million rental listings from managed properties, newspaper classifieds and for-rent-by-owner units. Its personalized searches, highly visual ads featuring 360-degree virtual tours and professional photography, and comprehensive community listings, make it possible for in-market renters to access rental inventory from across town or across the country and make informed decisions quickly. The site's foundation of solid partnerships with the local newspaper and television station Web sites of more than 170 affiliates across the country includes the Chicago Tribune (www.chicagotribune.com), The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) and the Los Angeles Times (www.latimes.com). Apartments.com, a division of Chicago-based Classified Ventures, LLC, delivers highly qualified, ready-to-rent prospects to more than 14,000 trade customers, which increases closure rates and decreases the average cost of leasing an apartment.