Increased Interest in Property despite Market Slump

Private Property South Africa
Jane Wessels

The current slump in the South African property market is presenting investors and would-be buyers with an opportunity to enter the market at lower cost than was required a year ago. House prices are falling and despite fewer loans being granted by the Banks, interest in purchasing property is on the increase.

In January this year, Privateproperty.co.za was visited by more than 290 000 unique browsers, and achieved more than 7.2 million page impressions. Although February saw a marginal drop in unique browsers, this can easily be attributed to the shorter month.

CEO of Privateproperty.co.za, Justinus Adriaanse, says “January was a big month for us, and represents an increase of more than 130 000 unique browsers from August last year, when the property market went through the biggest lull we’ve felt on our website in years.”

“This is encouraging because it proves that although investment sentiment is generally low, there is an increased interest in investing in property as people see the potential to pick up a relative bargain while the market isn’t doing as well as it was.”

Adriaanse feels that much of this increased interest is a result of the online property auction facility launched by Privateproperty.co.za last year. “Since the launch, interest in this selling medium has grown phenomenally. We now send out weekly notifications to more than 100 000 people on the database, telling them the details of properties on our website that are up for auction. This creates massive interest in the properties, as there are often great bargains to be had.”

Privateproperty.co.za launched the auction facility last year to assist sellers of property to gain more exposure, and to allow buyers the opportunity to pick up a bargain. “We’re finding that even if the property doesn’t actually sell on the auction, a deal is often concluded afterward between one of the bidders and the seller of the property,” states Adriaanse.

There is also an obvious increased interest in rental properties from those people who either can’t or prefer not to enter the market at the moment. And the rental section on Privateproperty.co.za is no exception. “What I find the most interesting,” notes Adriaanse, “is that we’ve never actively marketed the property rentals on our website. We loaded the facility and it seemed to take on a life of its own.”

There’s bound to be a lot more interest in the Privateproperty.co.za website over the next few months. “We’ll be opening the website up for the use of more than just the private seller, although that will always remain our core focus.” Adriaanse says that the details are being finalised, and will be released over the next few weeks. “But we’ll always remain committed to providing accessible, quality content for buyers of property, as well as an avenue for private sellers to market their properties.”

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