The latest IAB/PWC Online Advertising Expenditure report showed that real estate had increased its category share of general display online advertising by 1.9 per cent in the March quarter, to hit 10.4 per cent.
The report said this result represents the highest retail category share for real estate since the commencement of industry category data collection in 2008, adding that it reflects the recent increase in housing activity in the economy.
The research pointed to Australian Bureau of Statistics data on monthly building approvals in the first three months of this year, which showed double-digit increases in total dwelling units approved compared to the same months of the prior year.
Real estate now only trails motor vehicles (20.7 per cent) and finance (10.7 per cent) for spending on online ad spend.
The report showed that across all industries, one in three ad dollars are now going straight to digital, with the overall online advertising market growing 17.1 per cent year on year to $1.067 billion.
However, overall online advertising dollars fell by 1.9 per cent compared to the previous December quarter, with search and directories the only area of online advertising that saw an increase this March quarter.
Search and directories accounts for the biggest portion of online advertising at 54.4 per cent, with general display following next with 28.2 per cent, and classifieds at 17.3 per cent.
Mobile advertising made up 15.3 per cent of total online advertising expenditure, compared to 14.3 per cent in the December quarter.