The Eastern Cape received 74.1 per cent of enquiries into South African property between January and December 2013. The Western Cape was the second most popular area, accounting for one in five (19.3 per cent) of activity.
Despite that, buyers searching for South African property tended to look at the Western Cape first, with the region accounting for half of the top 10 most-searched destinations in the country. Cape Town was the second most sought-after location, featuring in one in 10 searches, behind only Johannesburg, which attracted 12 per cent of searches. The Gauteng province accounted for two out of the top 10 most-searched cities, including Pretoria. KwaZulu-Natal accounted for the same number, including Ballito and Durban (8.5 per cent).
Eastern Cape, on the other hand, was home to just one of the top 10 most-searched places: Port Elizabeth. The popular tourist hotspot, though, located on the Garden Route, held enough appeal to convert searches into enquiries. Indeed, overseas buyers of South African property were primarily interested in coastal areas: provinces further inland, such as the Free State, North West, Northern Cape and Limpopo received no enquiries at all.
The At a Glance infographic also charts search activity on Google related to buying South African property. Buyers tended to search for “property in South Africa” in general, while “houses for sale in South Africa” were the most popular type of property, followed by land for sale in South Africa.
Searches for the country’s real estate peaked in the third quarter of 2013, increasing throughout the year until a seasonal dip in activity during the winter months. This trend is backed up by TheMoveChannel.com, where enquiries into South African property peaked in September, driven by an off-plan opportunity to invest in a resort in the Eastern Cape.
Editor Ivan Radford comments: “South Africa’s real estate market enjoyed a stronger 2013 than previous years, with demand increasing in the third quarter. But the At a Glance infographic confirms the emerging nature of nation’s real estate, with the majority of interest directed towards tourist-friendly coastal areas, such as Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. Buyers searched mostly for property in the Western Cape, thanks to the area’s Mediterranean climate. The Garden Route’s mild temperatures, though, as well as the attractive off-plan listing, saw the majority of buyers, even after searching in the Western Cape, hunt for property in the Eastern Cape instead. While properties near the coast tended to perform well, the country’s most popular listings in 2013 ranged from off-plan developments to houses and alternative investments, which indicates a variety of investors and buyers entering the country – a positive indicator for the market’s future.”