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Google Street View to help SA buyers

By Staff Writer
As technology continues to take strides in the South African financial market, there is also some hope for the property market.

Thanks to Google Street View technology, those who usually spend their Sundays driving around looking for show houses will soon be able to check out their prospective new home right from the comfort of the couch.

This is set to launch in South Africa before the World Cup kicks off and it will provide users with a 360 degree street level view of all the majour cities in the country.

"Real estate agencies in Australia are using the technology successfully to enhance their clients' house-hunting experiences," said Re/Max CEO Adrian Goslett.

"Each year an increased number of South Africans are searching online for property, so this is a natural progression."

"Street View will allow potential buyers to check out amenities such as open spaces, shopping areas and parking near or in the suburbs they are interested in," Goslett added.

Street View cars were roaming the streets of South Africa during September last year and vast amounts of data was collected in order to help create a three-dimensional map of the country's streets.

Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria, Durban and Johannesburg have all been mapped thanks to millions of photographs but the going has been slower than expected because of the limited information available on street addresses and business locations.

"[Street View] will provide clients with the opportunity to narrow down the selection of homes to the point where the few that we show will actually be bought," said Herschel Jawitz, CEO of Jawitz Properties.

A growing number of South Africans are using the internet to search for property so it's a natural progression.

"It will be good for the client in reducing search time and irritation and good for the agent from a cost and efficiency point of view," said Jawitz.

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