Retail, office and industrial property markets are oversupplied, FNB survey finds


Johannesburg – All three major commercial property sectors – retail, industrial and office – remained oversupplied in the first quarter of this year, although the oversupply was noticeably less in the industrial property market, according to the latest Property Broker Survey from First National Bank (FNB).

Brokers in the office and retail property markets perceived a rise in the average time of properties on the market prior to sales, with a slightly declining average time on market bias only in the industrial property sector, FNB Commercial Property Finance sector strategic John Loos said in the survey yesterday.

According to the group, perception was tilted towards the existence of an oversupply and this was most severely the case in the office property market.

As many as 96.6% of the respondents in the office sector pointed to an oversupply, 90% in retail property and 54.8% in the industrial property sector.

The oversupplied bias in all three major markets was reflective of the deep recessionary conditions of the economy, said Loos.

He said one of the “casualties” of an oversupplied market was a sharp decline in investment in the building of new commercial space, which was bad for the building sector but necessary to restore some demand-supply balance.

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