Housing starts are down 23 percent. Foreclosures are up 2 percent. Consumers’ intent to buy a home is down 4 percent. And 1 out of every 9 homes remains vacant. Yet real estate advertising has begun its rebound, signaling agents’ optimism that a recovery is imminent. As they emerge from the slump, the way they spend their marketing dollars has changed dramatically. Real estate professionals will spend an estimated $21.8 billion this year, up 8 percent from 2010. They are earmarking $8.9 billion of it for online media, an amount that has propelled real estate to the second-highest spending category. In fact, of all advertisers, real estate agents are earmarking the largest share of their ad budgets – an eye-popping 64 percent – for online media buys. This 56-page report is chock full of analyses and data, including 17 charts and tables and three appendices. Chapter 1 examines trends in home sales, mortgages, rentals and homebuilding; Chapter 2 dissects trends in advertising expenditures and breaks out amounts spent by agents, by apartment operators, by mortgage lenders, and by homebuilders; and Chapter 3 takes a deep dive into online real estate advertising, offering details from our recent survey of local real estate agents. Appendix A delivers the full results of our first-quarter 2011 survey of 389 local real estate advertisers, providing tremendous insights into how they view their various newspaper, broadcast, online and other marketing expenditures. Appendix B provides deep detail on advertising expenditures in more than two dozen charts and tables, including differences in local vs. national expenditures, spending across each of 11 media types, and our 5-year real estate advertising forecast.