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The Month in Review September 2021

The Month in Review September 2021

Putting things into Perspective

“My barn having burned down, I can now see the moon.”
― Mizuta Masahide (17th century Japanese poet and samurai)

We are finally exiting the third wave of COVID-19 and our world has shifted drastically. Most of us have been impacted as 2020 was a challenging year and 2021 thus far has been even more so. As we move into spring, which coincides with the last quarter of 2021, we have noticed a new sense of optimism in the air. We have had to adjust and learn to live with a new way of life, not to mention business interruptions following the failed July insurrection. We are pushing forward but, for most of us, our perspective has undergone a permanent adjustment. Now is the time to embrace the opportunities of a post pandemic environment.  

“She stood in the storm and when the wind did not blow her way, she adjusted her sails.”
― Elizabeth Edwards

Certain sectors of the commercial property sector have permanently shifted, and we need to adjust our sails accordingly.

  • Office spaces have seen the shift to short term leasing (and partial leasing of available space). Office buildings are being repurposed for short term rentals, residential conversion and, in some cases, could become storage areas for local delivery as the e-Commerce trend takes hold. 
  • In 2019 and at the beginning of 2020, the discussion was “will e-Commerce ever make an impact in South Africa”. Within a few months of the pandemic, e-Commerce took center stage. E-Commerce is with us to stay and we need to recognize that the end user determines the pace of advancement for collection of goods and access of services as competition is rife in the space. 
  • There is no doubt that there is a digital revolution underway. The trend to cashless stores and other digital innovations is a perfect example. 
  • Warehouse storage and industrial logistics are becoming a key focus in Commercial Property. All of these provide lucrative opportunities. 
  • Green buildings are, and have been for some time, a key focus. Rates and service charges exceed rental escalations and CPI inflation indexes. This is mainly due to revaluation of properties by local municipalities as well as additional local services levies being added into the equation.

At Commercial Exchange, we too are adjusting our focus. In the short term we will be introducing some exciting new options in office rentals as well as other facets of the adjusted commercial Property market. We continue to seek out and promote key buildings in office, retail and warehouse space to meet business demand.

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