2013 brought several interesting commercial property trends in South Africa. Developers had a difficult time constructing new commercial properties. This was as a result of difficulty accessing financing for commercial properties and delays in provision of services by municipal councils. The lack of new buildings increased demand for existing commercial properties in many parts of the country.
In 2013 there was an increase in demand for A grade sector buildings. This was driven by a growing number of established small sized businesses that were in need of office space. There was also renewed interest by foreign investors who were interested in AAA buildings located in safe places with easy access to transport facilities in the Capital. Tenants were also in search of greener buildings designed to reduce energy consumption.
The commercial property trends of 2013 also revealed that companies preferred to lease entire buildings instead of sharing them with other companies. Despite this trend, older office buildings designed for single tenants were being divided when the occupant of the building left. This was to reduce the waiting time for the building to become occupied again.
As a result of improved transport in some areas such as Houghton, Rosebank and Sandton, the demand for commercial properties in such areas also increased. Proximity to residential areas was clearly a factor that affected demand for commercial properties. Another one of the commercial property trends of 2013 is that large property developers began to decentralize their developments from major cities. Instead they chose to build properties in well-located suburbs that are close to transport hubs like train stations and major highways.