79% of home buyers search online

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16 May 2013

New research commissioned by Century Properties Developments has revealed a dramatic increase in the numbers of South Africans who use the internet to search and view new homes.

79 percent use the internet with an online breakdown revealing interesting results, this means almost eight out of 10 local home buyers are currently looking online. Specifically 62 percent of home buyers use property24.com while 11 percent use privateproperty.com and 10 percent use fin24.com

A sample of 200 local home buyers and 100 estate agents were interviewed regarding what media and method locals used to find a new home.

79 percent use the internet with an online breakdown revealing interesting results; this means almost eight out of 10 local home buyers are currently looking online.

Specifically 62 percent of home buyers use property24.com while 11 percent use privateproperty.com and 10 percent use fin24.com

The remaining four percent use estate agent websites while a paltry one percent use search engines such as Google and Yahoo.

The survey revealed that more traditional media like newspapers are still used by 58 percent of local home buyers, but the internet is now the first port of call for most South Africans when looking for property to buy.

42 percent of home buyers use the Saturday Star newspaper while nine percent use the Business Times.

Magazines come third with 53 percent - this breaks down to 26 percent for SA Homeowner magazine, 19 percent for Garden and Home and 16 percent for the Financial Mail.

In fourth and fifth media place is television at 41 percent and radio at 34 percent respectively.

In addition to conducting searches online, local home buyers are also becoming more tech savvy generally and often use their Smartphones or iPads to go online for comparative pricing and also to check the proximity of viewed homes to their place of work or children’s school.

Television comprises 28 percent for Top Billing on SABC 3 and 18 percent for the Home Channel on DSTV.

BBC Lifestyle is at the back of the queue at one percent.

Radio showed 26 percent for 702, four percent for 94.7 Highveld Stereo and two percent for Jacaranda. SAFM, RSG and 5FM all have one percent each, according to the survey.

Interestingly social media is also playing more of a role in home buyers’ search but it remains in last place at 25 percent overall.

The breakdown for social media is Facebook 19 percent, Twitter six and one percent each for Houzz updates, www.yookoos.com and Blackberry Messenger.

According to Dan Brown, deputy chief executive officer, Century Property Developments, the commissioned research also showed that in addition to conducting searches online, local home buyers are also becoming more tech savvy generally and often use their Smartphones or iPads to go online for comparative pricing and also to check the proximity of viewed homes to their place of work or children’s school.

Research by World Wide Worx has confirmed that tech savvy South Africans are increasingly adopting the internet to make well-informed purchasing decisions and this new research indicates that local home buyers are no different in this regard.

For example online shopping in SA is growing in SA at a rate of 30 percent a year.

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