South Africans are moving further and further away from city centres, to enjoy increased space at more affordable rates elsewhere, and they are willing to commute more than 40km each day for this.
People are looking to reduce transfer fees and the other costs of a sale by purchasing a larger home in a more affordable area from the get-go.
"Instead of buying a smaller place in a trendy suburb then moving in a few years when a bigger house is desired, people are looking to reduce transfer fees and the other costs of a sale by purchasing a larger home in a more affordable area from the get-go," said Crispin Inglis, co-founder of online estate agency PropertyFox.
The company, in partnership with research house Metric, released its second annual Virtual Realty report, which looked at up-and-coming areas, year-on-year price growth, lifestyle trends and some of the most hashtagged restaurants and bars per city — using some 60,000 hashtags, posts and comments from South African social media users.
"Cape Town is the most mentioned city once again, followed by Johannesburg and Durban. Camps Bay remained the most hashtagged hood in the country, with newcomers Hout Bay and Umhlanga coming in second and third, respectively. Sandton fell to number seven on the list from second place in 2016.
Interestingly, Bloubergstrand, Soweto and Sunningdale all made the top 10 list for the first time this year," pointed out Inglis.
Year-on-year price growth
Notably, areas enjoying more Instagram attention are frequently seeing improved year-on-year average property price growth as well. For example, Sunningdale saw the most hashtag growth of all the hoods, with a corresponding 3.8 percent increase in property investment. Bloubergstrand saw 11.54 percent growth from 2016 to 2017, while Soweto enjoyed marginal growth of 1.6 percent.
Other areas of interest included Centurion (2.2 percent growth), Braamfontein (2.2 percent growth), and Durban's Port Shepstone, which was the clear winner with 16.75 percent year-on-year property price growth.
The role of social media influencers
In terms of restaurants and bars, three of the most hashtagged restaurants across the country were Grand Africa Café & Beach in Cape Town, Marble in Joburg and Eyadini Lounge in Durban. Many Mother City hashtags were foodie-oriented, with #wine, #foodie and #winetasting being the top tags in this space.
Influencers were found to play a crucial role in driving the popularity of places to eat and socialise. Inglis says, "Social media is a currency of credibility. When an influencer raves about a restaurant, it's not long before everyone's eating there. The same goes for areas and property trends."
#TBT Anyone who's been on the #Durban #social scene for a minute knows about the '#Eyadini entrance' moment. The in-house #Photographer at this #shisanyama immortalises guests' #walk through the gate in pictures which are uploaded onto their Facebook page. 2 years ago, he snapped @bi_llii and I babysitting. Please don't ask about the fold on my jeans. 🤪 #Funfact: In Durban, it's not unheard of to find people who proudly live vicariously through the Eyadini Facebook page. #ThrowbackThursday #goodtimes #Umlazi #NUZ #Kasieweekends #Summer #SouthAfrica
"It's amazing how much insight can be gleaned from a social platform and how closely it corresponds to the current property market trends in play. It'll be interesting to see if investors use the report to jump on the next up-and-coming areas," concluded Inglis.