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BidX1 South Africa

Bidder numbers at South African auctions increase by 250% in 2020

Online property transactions have hit the mainstream, according to MC du Toit, CEO of BidX1 South Africa.

“Activity on our digital platform has increased exponentially in recent months, with recorded bids of some R100 million placed during October alone. Mindsets are changing rapidly – for both buyers and sellers.”

Du Toit heads up the South African arm of BidX1, Europe’s leading digital property investment platform, along with David Murphy, who leads the firm’s commercial team. Du Toit attributes the record figures to a growing demand for online property transactions, a trend which has been accelerated by the lockdown.

“This will be the catalyst for rapid digital transformation in the property sector; just as we saw huge growth in FinTech following the financial crisis. As the mature players in this space, we are seeing a huge increase in demand for a more modern, transparent approach to property sales.

“Bidder numbers at our online auctions in South Africa have increased by 250% this year,” says du Toit, “and those bidders are spending more – the average bid value has increased from R915 000 to R2.9 million.

“Bidders are predominantly local, but we are seeing increasing attention from international investors from the UK, USA, Spain, Australia, Holland, Italy, Canada and Austria – along with growing attention from other countries on the African continent, with Kenya, Rwanda and Lesotho driving the most views to South African properties in 2020.”

BidX1 has pioneered an innovative approach to property sales, allowing buyers to invest across multiple markets – and to complete the full transaction online using bespoke proprietary technology. The PropTech company held its first South African auction in early 2019.

“We are also delighted to be working with Pam Golding Properties, whose long-standing property expertise and leadership is combined with a strong track-record of innovation. We initially teamed up with them in 2018, forming a strategic partnership which brought online auctions to the South African property market for the first time. In October, we further enhanced that collaboration through the launch of the first BidX1-powered Pam Golding Auctions.

Close to R42 million in residential sales was raised at that first sale and the next catalogue has already been launched on the BidX1 platform, for an auction on 10 December.

“The positive response to our first live online auction exceeded expectations,” says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group. “Several properties sold prior to the event and, on the day, competing buyers from around the country took part, including one from overseas.”

BidX1 has a strong pipeline of commercial assets due to come on stream in early 2021. “The platform is ideal for such sales”, says du Toit, “providing maximum exposure for assets and allowing for transparent, competitive bidding.”

Du Toit sees the increasing activity on the platform as proof that 2020 is a watershed moment for the property market.

“Ultimately, this experience has validated the online model. Technology is a crucial element of an effective sale strategy – no longer just a ‘nice to have’.”

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