Overview: Commercial property market in Midrand

Commercial

    

Midrand has come a long way from its origins as a halfway house for stage and post-coaches in the 1800s. Its excellent location and access to major roads caused the area to develop into prime residential and commercial property. Office blocks were first built in 1981, but Gallagher Estate, one of Africa’s largest convention and exhibition centres built in 1993, gave rise to a need for a wide selection of accommodation. “Midrand is growing exponentially, and has become a popular area for property investment as it offers good value for money in both commercial and residential markets,” says Leon Breytenbach, National Manager of the Rawson Property Group’s commercial division. Midrand’s suburbs are Austin View, Glen Austin, Beaulieu, Carlswald, Crowthorne, Glenferness, Kyalami, President Park, and Randjesfontein, besides the original Halfway House. They range in character from high-end residential areas to agricultural smallholdings, many with equestrian interests.

Location and access7

27 kilometres from Johannesburg CBD, 16 kilometres from Sandton and 31 kilometres from Pretoria, Midrand has easy access to all areas via the N1 which transects it, the R101 and R55 as well as other main thoroughfares. Grand Central Airport, a private airfield for charter, light plane and helicopter traffic, is three kilometres from the CBD, proving ideal for the executive traveller. OR Tambo and Lanseria airports are both less than 40 kilometres away, easily accessible via the M39 and N14 respectively. The Gautrain station is one and a half kilometres from the centre of Midrand, with Gautrain buses serving the area; it has become a popular mode of transport. As always, minibus taxis are in plentiful supply.

Commercial property

Midrand boasts a wide spectrum of companies, with many having their head offices there, such as Nike SA, Deloitte, ADT, BMW, Neotel, Altech Autopage and Vodacom, and Johnson & Johnson. Textile and motor vehicle related industries and food and beverage manufacturers and suppliers rub shoulders with IT companies, security firms, laboratories, power and electric companies and institutions of education. Warehousing forms a large part of the commercial activity, with 400 to 800 square metre units being most popular, thus not always available. Office blocks are also plentiful, with many of their occupants relocating from the congestion of adjacent cities. “Kyalami, Clovelly, Tillbury, Midrand, Samrand and N1 Business Parks, among others, offer all grades of premises from small to large, while Old Mint Park development has recently broken ground,” states Breytenbach. Mall of Africa, the largest single-phase mall to be built in Africa, is located in Waterfall City, and Waterfall Estate is a huge green development following the live-work-play concept.

Prime grade office space in the Midrand area totals 8 000 square metres, all of which is occupied and unavailable for rental. A-grade premises comprise 426 706 square metres, of which there are 55 349 square metres available for rental. B-grade comprises 206 961 square metres with 31 394 square metres vacant, while C-grade premises comprise 19 231 square metres of which 7 857 square metres are vacant. The vacancy percentages were somewhat higher 12 months ago, at 16.0%, but dropped to 14.3% in October 2018. “Unlet new developments in the Waterfall area will pose a substantial risk to medium-term rental growth,” avers the SAPOA Office Vacancy Report for the third quarter of 2018. It explains that Midrand has an 11.7% downside risk to vacancy because the completed buildings vacancy figure is 2.3%, but adding unlet developments causes this figure to increase to 14%.

Average monthly rental for A-grade office space is R100 per square metre, while B-grade space costs about R80 and C-grade costs R75 per square metre. Developments in the pipeline will bring 25 587 square metres of space to the market, 22 028 square metres of which are yet to be leased.

Amenities

“Rapidly expanding residential suburbs besides numerous apartment blocks provide living space of all budgetary levels. Good transport, work opportunities and all amenities such as shopping centres, excellent schools and tertiary institutions are available in Midrand,” says Breytenbach. The Momentum World of Golf, Kyalami Country Club, Leeuwkop Golf Club, Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Kyalami Kart Circuits, as well as Action Cricket, netball and soccer facilities provide sporting opportunities. Glen Austin Bird Sanctuary and the Lory Park Animal and Owl Sanctuary attract nature lovers, and there are movie houses at Mall of Africa. Hotels, lodges and B&Bs are plentiful and there are several excellent hospitals and clinics within the area.

Conclusion

With so much to offer, Midrand is growing apace. Soon the area between Pretoria and Johannesburg will all be city! “Now is the time to invest or establish your business in this area, before the value-for-money ratio drops,” Breytenbach advises.

Rawson Commercial has offices countrywide and looks forward to assisting you in finding the right property for your purpose. Please contact (021) 658 7100 and we will refer you to your nearest office.

For more information, email marketing@rawsonproperties.com or visit www.rawson.co.za for the latest market tips and industry news.

Leon Breytenbach

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