Online searches for homes soar

Google searches for real estate have skyrocketed.“Houston real estate” may be a term homebuyers are entering in search engines with great frequency lately, as a new report indicates that housing-related searches have skyrocketed in the past four years.
According to a joint study conducted by Google and the National Association of Realtors, real estate-specific searches have jumped 253 percent since 2008.
Patrick Grandinetti, head of real estate at Google, said that the internet has been a huge boon both for consumers and real estate professionals
“Increasingly, online technologies are driving offline behaviors, and home buying is no exception,” said Grandinetti.
While Texas didn't crack the top-five search queries among prospective buyers, states near to Texas did, including Louisiana and Mississippi. Delaware, Wyoming and South Dakota homes were also common search terms.
However, Houston is among the top cities foreign investors have put their money toward in the past decade or so, and searches from abroad may not have been counted in the report.
The Association of Foreign Investors in Real Estate says that the global cities investors have devoted their monetary resources toward are New York, London, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and Houston.
Texas' largest city was unranked last year, AFIRE notes.
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