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RISMEDIA, Jan. 4, 2007-New research by The Kelsey Group indicates a gap between the sources to which home buyers turn to get information about real estate and the media that advertisers use to promote property for sale.

"This lag is not uncommon," says Neal Polachek, Kelsey Group senior vice president, advisory services, research and consulting. "Eyeballs move more quickly than ad dollars, and this is just another clear example. The question is, ‘how fast will ad dollars catch up with the shift in eyeballs?'"

Based on data from the Newspaper Association of America and The Kelsey Group's forecast, Kelsey analysts anticipate $7.75 billion was estimated to be spent on real estate classified advertising-offline and online-in 2006. Online listings, paid search, Internet newspaper and other online sources were estimated to drive the Internet ad share to 44.3% as the real estate transaction is more closely linked to financial and move-related services through consolidation.

"Clearly, the underlying buyer and seller trends suggest we are reaching a tipping point regarding the transition of ad dollars from offline media to online media," says Matt Booth, Kelsey Group senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media and Marketplaces.

Study findings include:
• Sellers turn first to newspapers (24%)
• Followed by signs (19%) to advertise real estate for sale
• Buyers turn equally to newspapers (30%) and online (30%).
• Younger generation-the most active real estate-buying age group (18- to 34-year-olds)-turns to online sources first
• Only a handful of home buyers-6%-used the Yellow Pages to find an agent

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