We recently used Google's Trend analysis to compare the historical search volume of "oil" and "real estate" (click here to access the search). While "real estate" used to be searched much more than "oil", the spread has narrowed significantly in 2008. Searches for "oil" have pretty much remained steady over the years, but searches for "real estate" have nearly been cut in half since 2005.
The bottom chart analyzes news references of the two terms, and that one shows "oil" now significantly outnumbering "real estate." While the media has steadily increased it's use of "oil", the consumer doesn't seem to be increasing its search for it. Unlike real estate, where consumers were mostly happy to see the value of their homes go up, rising oil prices are not something that most people like.
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