Commercial property market

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

The economy might be in the doldrums but local commercial property executives remain upbeat and optimistic about the Eastern Cape.

“With the current economic situation, one would presume that the commercial property segment is very slow with investors being unsure which direction to follow and the possible negatives resulting from our political situation. However, surprisingly enough after being involved in the commercial property market for many years and monitoring the up and down movements of the trends, the commercial market is fairly active,” said Warren Jack, Principal and Director at Warren Jack Property Group.

“The largest problem facing the commercial market at present is that brokerages or let us say ‘the real players’ do simply not have enough available stock. Even within the leasing segment, a major problem is that there is not sufficient large warehousing space with yard space to accommodate trucking.”

“We remain optimistic as there has been good and positive growth for 2014 and for the year 2014, North Point has concluded sales in excess of  R172 million predominately in the industrial and retail sectors and 39000sqm of leasing (industrial sector), showing good growth and movement in this segment,” said Justin Smith, Director at North Point Commercial Property Group.

Mark Connett, Managing Director at Just Commercial, also said; “The industrial and warehouse market was fairly slow in the first and second quarter of 2014, but has picked up fairly well in the third quarter. However, the commercial market (offices) has had a tough time of late and I believe this not just local but across the country.”

The agents said some of the biggest developments that would boost the local commercial property space include PE’s Baywest Shopping Mall; Coega; the Casino Retail Development; and activity along William Moffett.

“I am confident that within the near future, Greenbushes will become the next best commercial sector as there is no room for expansion (vacant land) in the existing commercial areas - Struandale, Deal Party, North End etc,” Connet said.

“However, labour strikes have been negative and they need to be resolved to encourage further investment especially in the automotive industry as they are a major contributor to Port Elizabeth and the Eastern Cape. In turn, I believe, this will have a positive impact on industry as a whole.

Jack said; “Overall, I’m very positive about future growth in the Eastern Cape commercial property sector.”

“Port Elizabeth is set for growth and has the opportunity to take the lead as a real viable national growth centre, should economics and politics collaborate,” Smith concluded.

 

Photo Caption: Baywest Shopping Mall, which is currently under construction is said to boost the local property space. Photo courtesy of www.baywestmall.co.za