Traffic congestion turns Pretoria properties into offices

Although commercial building east of Pretoria continues, resistance to traffic congestion, long commutes and high office rentals is driving a preference for repurposed properties in the city's residential heartland.

That is according to Rob Ketjen, chairman of Harcourts SA, who says rezoned office space in traditionally residential suburbs such as Brooklyn, Hatfield, Hillcrest, Hazelwood, and parts of New Muckleneuk and Arcadia has become a popular niche market investment vehicle.

"There is ongoing demand from the legal and medical fraternities as well as entrepreneurs wanting convenient, upmarket yet affordable offices close to their homes," he says. "This is ensuring strong buying and rental take-up of quality single and multiple home conversions."

Ketjen says the Pretoria Municipality is disposed towards granting business rights to homes in areas where traffic volumes are high, and those on busy corners. Such properties are selling for up to R3.5 million, depending on location, before additional money is spent on converting them into offices. The quality of the conversion will then dictate the rental, which can be as high as R95/m² a month. Particularly sought after in this category, Ketjen says, is office space ranging in size from 200m² to 500m², and in price from R65/m² to R85/m².

Commercial property specialist Dennis Hamer, of Harcourts Pretor in Pretoria, says new building activity is a strong indicator that the country is emerging from the recessionary conditions of the past few years.

"The local commercial sector has experienced positive growth during the first six months of the year, particularly in areas such as Menlyn, where prime new office space, at a cost of up to R140/m² a month is enjoying steady takeup by large corporates and head offices. Although there is an oversupply of office space in certain areas in Centurion, it is encouraging to see increasing demand in other locations, particularly those conveniently close to the Gautrain."

Accompanying the unflagging construction of office buildings in the east is a parallel trend for residential development, says Hamer. This was supportive of demand by office park employees wanting to live closer to their places of work.

"Traffic is playing a major role in driving outbound movement from the city, as a result of which areas such as Faerie Glen, Mooikloof and Equestria, which until recently was an agricultural suburb called Willows, are now home to large scale, high-security new residential development.
"With commercial development on the cards, we expect residential building activity to start gaining momentum again."

According to Irene Prinsloo, residential specialist at Harcourts Pretor, there is a high demand among young professionals and investors for townhouses in the "modern" suburbs flanking the Menlyn business hub.

Particularly sought after are freestanding townhouses costing between R550 000 and R1m. Stack units, from R460 000, are also moving well.

Commenting on the high number of commercial vacancies in Europe at the moment, as well as those in certain parts of Pretoria, Ketjen says SA investors need to focus on buying the right properties in the right places to reduce the risk of becoming casualties in the event of any oversupply.

(Weekend Argus -Sunday Edition)

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us