Entrepreneurial growth to drive commercial property demand across key Cape locations
Category Property Markets
Boosting entrepreneurial and small business growth is not just a stated objective of national government, but the City of Cape Town is also looking at this to boost the local economy, in partnership with the private sector is also looking to encourage this.
Earlier this year, it announced that it will soon open a business hub to provide small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) and entrepreneurs with guidance and to connect them to business development services. While initially a walk-in facility, there are plans to launch an online version in the future. Partners include the Western Cape Trade and Investment Agency, Business Process Enabling South Africa, Cape Craft and Design Institute and Cape Information Technology Initiative.
The Cape is already renowned for its small businesses, from coffee shops and cafés to fitness centres and a host of services. It is now also recognised as the leading tech hub on the continent. The CBD, De Waterkant and Sea Point area are for example home to a large concentration of small businesses which operate alongside larger businesses including head offices in the CBD.
Blouberg is another fast growing area which now offers excellent commercial property opportunities according to Peter Rowell, a commercial property specialist with Seeff. He says that there has been an increase in property on the market with more sellers and a greater number of commercial vacancies on all fronts, from offices to retail and industrial.
The type of buyers and tenants looking right now tend to be those who have a successful existing business and want to look at moving to a new location or bigger premises, but there are plenty of space available for new business growth.
Prime properties situated in locations that are seen to be safe and easily accessible are generally sought-after. It is a good time for those tenants/owners who have a definite need for accommodation to source quality properties on more favourable terms.
Rental rates vary depending on the type of property and area but expect to pay around R67-R75/sqm for industrial property in Montague Gardens, R85/sqm for commercial property in De Waterkant and R110/sqm to R175/sqm for Century City and the CBD. In Newlands, you can expect to pay around R180/sqm for commercial property, around R190/sqm in Claremont Upper and R220/sqm in Mouille Point.
Frances Gray-Mnukwana, a commercial property specialist with Seeff False Bay says that she is finding that there is a demand for smaller spaces while many business owners are also now looking to downsize to smaller space. The slow demand for retail space has seen some large shopping centres experiment with "pop-up shops" on short term rentals.
Some of the larger listed property companies are also accepting reduced rentals to fill their vacancies. Although commercial properties under R4m is still attracting interest, clients are generally looking for smaller properties under R2 million and tenants are looking for less than 200sqm.
Tenanted properties with long leases and a good rate of return remain in demand. There is a decline in interest in the busy CBD and Claremont area due to high rental rates, traffic congestion and limited access to affordable parking which has boosted the surrounding areas such as Woodstock, Salt River and Paarden Eiland.
Prices of commercial property generally range from R1,5 million to R39 million. Rentals range from around R50-R65/sqm for industrial property and R120-R150/sqm for commercial space. Opportunities exist for smaller office units of less than 150sqm with affordable parking or secure off street parking as well as smaller light Industrial units with roller door access and good security priced between R70-R150/sqm.
Visit www.seeff.com for a full range of commercial property.
Author: Gina Meintjes