Online house hunters favour Cape Town by far in 2007

Online house hunters favour Cape Town by far in 2007

Top 3 most viewed suburbs all in Cape Town with 7 out of top 10 most viewed properties in Western Cape.

Online house hunters spent most of their time looking at Cape Town property in 2007 with Cape Town's CBD coming first in the most popular search stakes, while 7 out of 10 of the most viewed suburbs were all in the Western Cape.

And the most viewed listing in 2007 was an apartment for R395 000 in Woodstock, followed in second place by a R38 500 000 home in Clifton, both in Cape Town.

This is according to propertygenie.co.za, South Africa's largest online search property portal that lists over 130 000 properties nationwide.

Johan Strydom, general manager of propertygenie.co.za, says that property listings in Cape Town's CBD was the most popular search on propertygenie.co.za in 2007, followed by Sea Point and Claremont.

"The fourth most popular search was for property in Bryanston in Johannesburg, followed by Morningside, also in Jozi, in fifth place."

Making up the top ten list in declining order of popularity was Durbanville (Cape Town), Hout Bay (Cape Town), Sunninghill (Johannesburg), Somerset West (outside Cape Town) and Parklands (outside Cape Town).

"Cape Town is so popular with house hunters because of the amazing lifestyle it offers and its natural beauty. In 2007, 7 of the top 10 most popular searches were for property in Cape Town and surrounds.

"Interestingly, it included suburbs right across the price range with Sea Point and Cape Town's CBD at the higher price end and the increasingly popular Parklands at the other."

The propertgenie.co.za analysis also shows that the top three individual properties most viewed in 2007 were an apartment in Woodstock listed at R395 000, a house in Clifton for R38 500 000 and a house in Dullstroom (Mpumalanga) for R175 000.

In 2007, the area which had the highest value of new stock listed on propertygenie.co.za was perennial holiday hotspot Plettenberg Bay in the Eastern Cape with new listings added of R4.5bn. This was closely followed by Somerset West with new listings of R4.3bn, Stellenbosch with R3.3bn and Knysna with R2.4bn.

Says Strydom: "These areas have experienced a massive boom in development over the past few years hence we've seen growing numbers of these properties listed. It's also a function of more estate agents using online property portals to market property and showcase their wares to remote buyers."

"This is especially true when it comes to these types of 'lifestyle listings' because buyers are often in Johannesburg, Cape Town and even abroad.

Hello ooba news

The implementation of the National Credit Act in June this year caused a slowdown in mortgage approvals as banks and applicants adjusted to the new regulations - but now SA's leading originator reports that approvals are returning to pre-NCA levels.

South Africa's largest property listings website has reported a surge in viewings of traditional holiday hot spots as more buyers shortlist homes through online searches ahead of arriving on vacation to see them.

The property market's rapid price escalation has cooled in the last year on the back of higher interest rates and the short term effects of the National Credit Act (NCA), but these factors are conspiring to provide a 'sweet spot' for buyers says SA's leading bond originator.

Property is a worthwhile investment but for younger people hoping to buy it is difficult to take the first step, but not impossible says Rhys Dyer, Chief Executive of ooba, South Africa's leading bond originator that places one in five South Africans in their homes.

"Rather invest in simple, streamlined furniture," she says. "Try to have pieces that have legs and are not boxy. Not only will you have created space but also the functionality of the room improves as well."