Areas and Places Research

OLX data reveals that online trading of property has picked up

Gauteng dominates the online classifieds property market, with online marketplace OLX revealing that slightly more than half of all property listed on the site come from this province.

OLX’s listings revealed that at 15.2% the Western Cape was second in terms of demand for houses and flats for rental or sale, and KwaZulu-Natal in third place at 11,8%.

In Gauteng, the most popular areas for South Africans looking to rent residential property on OLX are Centurion, Randburg, Bedfordview, Fourways and Midrand, while those in the Western Cape in most demand are Goodwood, Claremont, Strand, Gardens and Gordon’s Bay.

Property demand on online classifieds has shown solid growth over recent months, with OLX’s property category showing over 30% growth month-on-month, said OLX Country Manager Stephen Ballot. Demand for Gauteng property has increased by 40% year-on-year.

“We believe this growth is primarily due to more South Africans becoming mobile savvy and browsing for properties on their mobile phones, but also as consumers look to avoid agent fees by dealing with buyers and sellers directly.”

In line with the trend of a boom in the rental market, with many local and international consumers looking to rent rather than buy during tough times, OLX’s rental category has shown extensive growth over the past year. “Rentals are more affordable in desirable areas compared with house purchases, and our poor economy means that people are more willing to shop around to find a deal.”

When it comes to commercial property on online classifieds, Pretoria seems to be the city in most demand with Johannesburg in second place. Soweto currently sits in fifth place according to OLX.

With the summer holidays approaching, vacation rental property listings and searches are also on the rise. “Unsurprisingly it is the coastal areas of Umhlanga, Jeffreys Bay, Margate, Camps Bay, Gordon’s Bay, Kleinmond and Umdloti which are most in demand,” Ballot said.

As with all online purchases, consumers need to be wary of possible fraud. Ballot urged all consumers to be aware of suspicious adverts when buying or selling property online. “Viewing fees, a lack of internal images and last minute change of meeting locations are all signs of a potential scammer. If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”