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Office vacancy rates in SA at an all-time high: 'Repurposing is the future'

20 January 2022 8:42 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
work from home
John Loos
office space
Lockdown
working from home
Sapoa
office vacancies
remote work
office rentals
SA Property Owners Association
hoteling

The Money Show talks to Property Economist John Loos (FNB) about the spike in office vacancies.

If you're considering renting office space or renewing your lease, this would be the time to negotiate a favourable deal with a landlord.

Office vacancy rates in the country are sitting at a new all-time high, according to the SA Property Owners Association (Sapoa).

Data shows that during the fourth quarter of 2021, office vacancies rose to 16% the Association says.

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There are a number of reasons, including the remote working trend started during the Covid-19 pandemic and the resultant office downsizing.

Bruce Whitfield interviews John Loos, Property Economist at FNB.

Already last year... rental data was telling us that nationally, on average, every quarter the market rentals were going down... negative growth of about -5% for a few consecutive quarters...

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

It's become more of a tenant's market... There is just that serious lack of demand.

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

Before we even get to the greater emphasis placed on working from home, the finance real estate and business services sector lost around 7-8% of its employment numbers just after that big recession of 2020... that alone dampened the demand for office space.

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

Loos says the remote work trend had been building up already before the pandemic - what lockdown created was a forced spike.

While greater numbers of employees are likely to filter back to their offices, this won't reflect pre-Covid numbers he predicts.

And those that are at the office, I don't see them being at the office as much as they were before lockdown.

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

What's happened now in a lot of companies is that they've put in hoteling software... There isn't a reserved desk space; whether you're on leave or sick or out at meetings, if you don't book a desk for tomorrow online, you don't have a desk.

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

The property sector mustn't sit and wait and expect things to go back to 'normal' as perhaps they did when the Joburg CBD went belly-up. One has to expect that these are trend or structural changes, move with the times and repurpose.

John Loos, Property Economist - FNB

Listen to the interview with Loos on The Money Show (skip to 1:20):


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Office vacancy rates in SA at an all-time high: 'Repurposing is the future'




20 January 2022 8:42 PM
Tags:
The Money Show
Bruce Whitfield
work from home
John Loos
office space
Lockdown
working from home
Sapoa
office vacancies
remote work
office rentals
SA Property Owners Association
hoteling

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