This is a “thinking aloud” post that came to me when I was forwarded the announcement of May advertising revenue of the New York Times. The New York Times stats cover total advertising, not classifieds and total ad revenue is down for May (print down/Internet up). However, it gave me the idea to chew it over with Matrix readers.

After filtering out the idea that print advertising is declining and Internet ad sales are rising (duh), I wonder if total classified advertising sales can be used as a leading indicator to predict how a local real estate market is faring. If this is being done already, I am not aware of it.

The conference board already does this with the job market in their monthly Help-Wanted Advertising Index which provides a metric for print and online ads.

It seems logical that a rising real estate market should see weaker ad sales as properties tend to sell with little effort. It follows then, that a weakening real estate market is good for classified advertising because sellers want agents to cover all the basis to compete with a higher number of competitive listings.

2 Responses to “Classified: Measuring The Real Estate Market”

  1. Drew Meyers says:

    Interesting thought – I can see how classified revenue could be a decent indicator of a local real estate market. One thing that might throw this off is individuals requiring their agent to post classified ads even if they are not needed (maybe the agent agreed in the listing presentation?).

  2. Long Island Lost says:

    It may be helpful to ask some real estate agents why they advertise. I asked one and was surprised to learn that she placed some ads since that is what her clients (house sellers) wanted. But, she knew that the more effective ads were those placed in a different newspaper. If her actions are common, a “classified ad” index may not tell you much.