SOURCE: HouseValues Inc.

February 14, 2006 08:45 ET

More Than Four Out of Five Mortgage Lenders Will Increase Marketing Budgets in 2006

Majority Find Internet Leads More Lucrative Sources of Business Than Traditional Channels, According to Survey by TheLoanPage.com

KIRKLAND, WA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 14, 2006 -- More than four out of five lenders plan to increase their online lead advertising budgets in 2006, according to a national survey of mortgage lenders conducted by TheLoanPage.com.

The survey of more than 50 lenders also revealed that online leads overwhelmingly achieve a higher success rate with lenders than those which come directly from traditional marketing channels, such as broadcast and print advertising. The Loan Page, a division of HouseValues Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLD), is an established leader in the online customer acquisition and lead aggregation industry.

These results are consistent with last year's forecast from Borrell Associates, an executive research and consulting firm, which predicted the mortgage industry will shift marketing budgets to predominantly online channels by 2009, eclipsing total dollars spent on television, print and direct mail advertising. According to Borrell, the mortgage industry currently spends more than $22 billion annually on consumer marketing.

"The Internet has proven to be one of the most efficient and lucrative sources of new business for lenders nationwide, both big and small," said Kevin Akeroyd, vice president of The Loan Page. "As consumers increasingly start their research and home financing online, it's only natural for lenders to follow them there."

Eighty-two percent of survey respondents reported that their online lead advertising budgets will increase by at least five percent this year over what they spent in 2005. Additionally, 80 percent of survey respondents said Internet leads perform better than leads found directly through other traditional direct response and advertising campaigns.

"More consumers are turning to online channels not only as a resource to research loans and rates, but also to actually secure their mortgages online," said Gordon Borrell, president of Borrell Associates. "For lenders, the Internet is proving to be a superior marketing tool over other channels for return on investment."

About The Loan Page

Founded in 1997, The Loan Page is one of the oldest Internet mortgage lead generation firms in the United States. The company offers a convenient and fast matching service for customers at www.theloanpage.com seeking home loans from reputable lending institutions nationwide. The Loan Page has transmitted more than $50 billion in mortgage loan quote requests and has served hundreds of clients nationwide. In November 2005, The Loan Page was acquired by HouseValues Inc.

About HouseValues Inc.

Founded in 1999, HouseValues Inc. (NASDAQ: SOLD) provides consumers and real estate professionals with the information and tools they need for success throughout the home buying and selling process. The company's flagship consumer products include HomePages.com™, a lifestyle and neighborhood-centric home buying and selling service; TheLoanPage.com, a service that provides current and prospective home owners with competitive mortgage and refinance quotes from leading lenders; HouseValues.com®, a service that provides home sellers with market valuations of their current home; and JustListed.com™, a service that alerts home buyers as soon as new homes hit the market that meet their criteria. Learn more at www.housevaluesinc.com.

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