Well, it may be true that some brokers are upset with Zillow and its growing power in the online real estate business. But home buyers and sellers are still very much tuning in to the Seattle company’s real estate site, checking Zestimates and researching properties.
Zillow today just released traffic numbers for the month of January, and the growth rate is quite impressive. A record 31.7 million unique visitors checked out the site and mobile applications. That was up from 15.7 million for the same period last year, and up from 23.4 million in December (typically a slow month in the real estate business).
Shares of Zillow are surging on the news this morning, up more than four percent to $31.85. The company went public at $20 per share last July.
Zillow isn’t the only online real estate company seeing positive trends. Redfin this week noted in a blog post that visits increased 35 percent in January when compared to the previous month, and customers touring homes was up 26 percent.
“We aren’t in a tizzy about such growth, because most of it is seasonal,” writes CEO Glenn Kelman. “We get big jumps like this every year.” In the same post, however, Kelman noted that the total number of active listings continues to drop in many of the major counties where it does business.
UPDATE: I asked Zillow’s Cynthia Nowak for more information about the increase in traffic during January, and here’s what she had to say:
January is the start of the home-buying season so we usually see an increase in traffic at the start of the year, but what’s especially interesting, and driving a lot of traffic, is the increase in mobile usage. Up to 40 percent of traffic on weekends now comes from a mobile device (more than 30 percent during the week). In January, more than 140 million homes were viewed on Zillow Mobile – that’s more than 53 homes per second.
Previously on GeekWire: Zillow overtakes Realtor.com to become second most visited real estate site in the U.S.