Scraping Craigslist Listings with Visual Basic

Oct 1, 2023 · 4 min read

This article explains how to scrape Craigslist apartment listings using Visual Basic and the HtmlAgilityPack library. We'll go through each part of the code.

First install HtmlAgilityPack via NuGet.

Import the namespaces:

Imports System.Net
Imports HtmlAgilityPack

HtmlAgilityPack lets us parse HTML documents.

Set the URL to scrape:

Dim url As String = "<https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/apa>"

Use WebClient to download the HTML:

Dim webClient As New WebClient()
Dim html As String = webClient.DownloadString(url)

Load the HTML into an HtmlDocument:

Dim htmlDoc As New HtmlDocument()
htmlDoc.LoadHtml(html)

If you check the source code of Craigslist listings you can see that the listings area code looks something like this…

You can see the code block that generates the listing…

<li class="cl-static-search-result" title="Situated in Sunnyvale!, Recycling Center, 1/BD">
            <a href="https://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/apa/d/santa-clara-situated-in-sunnyvale/7666802370.html">
                <div class="title">Situated in Sunnyvale!, Recycling Center, 1/BD</div>

                <div class="details">
                    <div class="price">$2,150</div>
                    <div class="location">
                        sunnyvale
                    </div>
                </div>
            </a>
        </li>

its encapsulated in the cl-static-search-result class. We also need to get the title class div and the price and location class divs to get all the data

Find all listing nodes with XPath:

Dim listings = htmlDoc.DocumentNode.SelectNodes("//li[@class='cl-static-search-result']")

Loop through listings and extract info:

For Each listing As HtmlNode In listings

  Dim title As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[1]").InnerText
  Dim price As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[2]").InnerText
  Dim location As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[3]").InnerText

  Dim link As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./a").GetAttributeValue("href", "")

  Console.WriteLine(title & " " & price & " " & location & " " & link)

Next

The full VB.NET code:

Imports System.Net
Imports HtmlAgilityPack

Dim url As String = "<https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/apa>"

Dim webClient As New WebClient()
Dim html As String = webClient.DownloadString(url)

Dim htmlDoc As New HtmlDocument()
htmlDoc.LoadHtml(html)

Dim listings = htmlDoc.DocumentNode.SelectNodes("//li[@class='cl-static-search-result']")

For Each listing As HtmlNode In listings

  Dim title As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[1]").InnerText
  Dim price As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[2]").InnerText
  Dim location As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./div[3]").InnerText

  Dim link As String = listing.SelectSingleNode("./a").GetAttributeValue("href", "")

  Console.WriteLine(title & " " & price & " " & location & " " & link)

Next

This walks through scraping Craigslist listings in VB.NET.

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