Getting to Know Buyers

Using technology to understand the market

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Making use of social media metrics, PropertyFox compiled its second annual property report. By identifying the most hashtagged suburbs, the report aims to identify which trends are seeing growth in today’s hyper-connected world. Around 60 000 hashtags, posts, and comments were analysed to unveil how South Africans feel about property and specific property markets.

An interesting emerging trend in this year’s report, says Crispin Inglis, co-founder and director of PropertyFox, is “the rise of outlying areas like Sunningdale, Centurion and Ballito.” According to Inglis, this ties in with what we know about rising property prices and resident’s desire to still be within an accessible distance of city centres. Ashley James, co-founder and PropertyFox COO, adds that their research is a good way to gather more insight into South African’s thoughts: “It’s great to see that South Africans’ social media activity is spreading the love for some of the traditionally lesser-known suburbs,” he says.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Cape Town walks away with the crown for the most-loved city on social media. The report did, however, reveal some interesting upcoming trends. James says: “Interestingly, the Insta trends are exactly those we’ve seen in the physical property market. Every area gaining popularity on social media is also rising in fame as a prospective hot spot for property investment. These trends probably perpetuate each other.”

Johannesburg

The most popular area in Johannesburg for the second year in a row, is Sandton. Average prices of a freehold property in the suburb come in at R2.8m, up from R2.75 in the previous year. In second place we see Soweto, with an average y/y property grows of 1.6%. Prospective reasons for the property price boom: urbanisation, the rise of the black middle class, and young professionals moving back to Soweto from the suburbs because they miss its upbeat edge. Its insta fame correlates with a greater trend of increased interest in property investment in the area.

Durban

Over in Durban, the most popular area is Umhlanga, with an average freehold property selling for R4.8m. The area has seen a 2% decrease from the previous year. Interestingly, in the previous report, the top neighbourhoods (aside from Umhlanga) in Durban were: Westville, Durban North and Musgrave – none of which feature in this report. Ballito comes in second, with an average price of R2.9m, showing a 3.6% y/y growth. Pinetown achieved the third most popular spot in the report, showing an impressive 27% y/y growth.

Cape Town

The Mother City’s most popular neighbourhood remains Camps Bay. Here, the average price for a sectional title property is R9.7m, showing 22.8% growth. The second spot belongs to Hout Bay, with a y/y property growth of 8.8%. Zooming in on the Southern Suburbs, the report identifies Constantia as the most popular area. Over in the Northern Suburbs, Durbanville takes the top spot. Prices in parts of the CBD are soaring – a 2-bedroom house in Tamboerskloof goes for R2.9m,

a 1-bedroom apartment in Vredehoek goes for R1.5m, and a 1-bedroom in Oranjezicht goes for

R1.9m. But there are other interesting neighbourhoods in the city bowl.  The Bo-Kaap claims the first spot, with average y/y growth of 40%. Other notable suburbs include Observatory, Woodstock, and Mowbray. Moving further from the city centre, the West Coast has also seen growing interest from buyers. Bloubergstrand has seen a y/y growth of 13.16, while Milnerton boasts a 12% increase.

Sources: PropertyFox, METRIC, Lightstone

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