Advice and Opinion

The industrial property market is leading the fledgling recovery of the property market

It appears that the industrial property market is leading the slow comeback in the commercial property market – certainly in the greater Irene and Centurion areas – where industrial space is being “snapped up”.

This is according to Org Geldenhuys, managing director of property marketing and development company, Abacus DIVISIONS.

“In our area of operation, which is basically in Irene and Centurion, we just cannot get hold of enough space for industrial-focused clients. Certainly, from what we can see, the industrial property market is leading the slow claw-back of the property market. While we see the industrial property space sparking, the office-based property market is likely only to start seeing a moderate recovery within the next 12 months, partly due to an oversupply of office space – built in the property boom years,” said Geldenhuys.

He said most of the inquiries Abacus DIVISION’s is currently getting are for industrial space.

“Five years ago 20% of our revenue came from the industrial property sector, but, during the past six months, this has risen to 50-60%.

“However, in spite of our already fragile economy facing further setbacks, the current economic climate has created a host of opportunities for savvy investors within the commercial property industry, who are taking advantage, for example, of the lowest interest rates in 40 years.

“However,” said Geldenhuys, “it must be remembered that we have not yet fully recovered from the global financial crisis which ignited in 2008 and there are still considerable uncertainties in Europe, the Middle East and the US, which are threatening economic financial stability – and will continue to weigh on investor sentiment and property yields in 2013.”

Abacus Divisions also recently announced the pre-launch of Rietvlei Corporate and Industrial Estate, a new development comprising of smaller industrial stands, catering to owner-occupiers who are keen to do their own developments. The new industrial park was launched on the back of the completion of the highly successful Route 21 Corporate Park, Irene Village Mall and Irene Farm Villages in the area.

Commenting further, Geldenhuys said that although industrial space is limited there are, nonetheless, “areas of opportunity” for industrial development in the Pretoria area, including Sunderland Ridge, the new Rietvlei Corporate and Industrial Estate, areas near the N4 gateway and towards the airport between Pretoria and Kempton Park.

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