Sat, Dec 06, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Home decorating trumping home purchasing: Yahoo

By Tim Culpan  /  BLOOMBERG

Online housing-related searches in Taiwan have surged this quarter as homeowners look for decorating ideas as an alternative to buying new properties amid rising economic concerns, according to Yahoo Inc.

Average weekly page views at Yahoo’s Taiwan House search-engine climbed 43 percent this quarter from a year ago, Huang Minyi, a Yahoo Taiwan spokeswoman, said yesterday.

“Home decoration” was the second most popular search term on Yahoo’s Taiwan Web site this year among advertisers who bid for listings, following “bicycles,” Yahoo said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Because of the economic decline, everyone is using their money more carefully,” Huang said in an interview.

“People can’t change their house, but they can change the look and format of their home,” she said.

Views in the home-decorating category more than doubled from a year ago, Huang said, declining to provide user numbers.

Home prices fell for an eighth consecutive month last month, dropping 4.7 percent from October, Sinyi Realty Co (信義房屋) said on Monday.

The third most popularly bid term on Yahoo Taiwan was “court auctions,” referring to a way repossessed homes are sold, usually at a discount to their market value, according to Yahoo’s statement.

The property market may go into recession next year as the economic slowdown deters buyers, the Ministry of the Interior said in its most recent report in September.

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