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Strong demand from logistics operators for large warehousing and distribution space

As South Africans have become more accustomed to shopping online and having goods delivered to their doors, we can expect to see a significant increase in demand for warehousing and distribution space from logistics operators and other companies, as well as a demand for industrial properties across the board, says MC du Toit, CEO of online property platform, BidX1 South Africa.

“I believe that traditionally sought-after areas with ease of access to transportation routes will remain key locations. With our vast distances to traverse in South Africa, and speed of delivery critical, logistics plays a major role in the property industry. Positively, we already have a number of enquiries from prominent companies who are looking to expand their distribution centres, as well as some smaller companies. We should also see some new entrants into this market.”

“Notably,” says du Toit, “we have seen an increase in our enquiries across the board. Time will tell as to where and which types of properties are most in demand, but I anticipate that we will see demand from investors for almost all sectors since property offers such an attractive investment option at present. The return on investment certainly makes sense, especially considering the favourable interest rate environment. 

“In fact, we’re already seeing investors divesting of some existing assets in order to free up liquidity for other purchases, in anticipation of the attractive investment opportunities expected to become available in the near future. 

“This also means that first-time home buyers may be able to purchase in areas where, prior to the rate cuts, they would not have been able to afford. 

“Meanwhile, our advice to landlords in the current market is to assess their personal situation. For some property owners, it maybe be beneficial to sell now, while others may want to hold onto their asset. There are many factors that need to be considered in the new economy and each property will need to be assessed on its own merit. Professional advice could prove valuable for those considering whether or not to sell at this point. 

“As far as distressed sellers are concerned, we’re currently assisting those who were struggling financially even before the lockdown was imposed and for whom the crisis has proved a tipping point. We may also see a delayed effect, with more distressed sales taking place over time.”

Commenting on the far-reaching impacts of the Covid-19 lockdown, du Toit says it’s somewhat premature to forecast. “As John Loos of FNB points out, the office sector has been under pressure for some time and companies are likely to take the opportunity to reduce space as more employees work from home. However, it is too early to gauge the extent of this. While we have had instructions to place some office space on the market, these sales are not the result of the lockdown.   

“What we have been seeing for some time now are large organisations centralising some of their divisions to consolidate space into one location in order to conserve expenditure; however, these economies of scale are not always feasible due to the vast geographical size of our country.”

Adds du Toit: “The retail industry has been one of the hardest hit, having already experienced poor performances prior to lockdown due to the economic recession. Consumer spending will probably remain muted after restrictions are lifted, and we’ve already seen Edcon, which was struggling before the lockdown was implemented, go into business rescue.”

Next auction 10 June

BidX1’s next auction takes place on 10 June, with a broad range of commercial and residential properties available to purchase around the country. Notable among these is a 387sqm office in Wale St Chambers in Cape Town, in a prime location within walking distance of the Provincial Legislature Building and the High Court in Cape Town CBD. Ideal for a legal firm or creative office, and with easy access in and out of the city, including public transport, it offers great views, concierge security and a well-managed body corporate, while parking is available in the building. With an opening bid of R2.3 million, this property is on auction on 10 June via BidX1. Link:https://bidx1.com/en/en-za/auction/property/42533

Situated in upmarket Isabel Estate in North Riding, in the north of Johannesburg, this 47sqm one bedroom, one-bathroom apartment with modern finishes goes on auction via BidX1 on 10 June, with an opening bid of R390 000. The unit includes a balcony and allocated secured parking bay, while the complex includes a communal pool. Link: https://bidx1.com/en/en-za/auction/property/42471

Ideally located in the upmarket Westlake Square office development in Westlake, just off Ou Kaapse Weg, this second floor, 91sqm unit includes two offices, loft, storage, kitchen, bathroom, small storage area and two parking bays which can be leased. With an opening bid of R750 000, it goes on auction through BidX1 on 10 June. Link: https://bidx1.com/en/en-za/auction/property/42720

With an opening bid of R80 000, this one-bedroom unit in Vereeniging includes an open-plan lounge, kitchen, bathroom and garage, and is up for auction through BidX1 on 10 June. Link: https://bidx1.com/en/en-za/auction/property/42345

BidX1 South Africa’s next online auction takes place on Wednesday 10 June 2020. For further information visit https://bidx1.com or telephone 021 140 3541.