Several real estate investment assets, including malls and major shopping malls, worth hundreds of millions of rands will go on auction later this month.

An auction at the Bryanston Country Club on Thursday, November 30 will see 39 lots go under the hammer.

“Retail has remained a consistently robust performer in commercial real estate, bouncing back strongly post-pandemic in 2022, with this year delivering the predictable period of levelling after the rebound,” High Street Auctions Director Greg Dart said.

“Cautious indications that consumers are likely to find relief in at least one interest rate cut in 2024, as well an improvement in real wages as inflation continues to shift towards the midpoint of the target band, bode well for household purchasing power and offer an even more positive outlook for the performance of retail investments.”

“Given the plethora of fiscal challenges this sector has faced since 2020, its resilience has been a remarkable testament to sound investment and leadership decision-making. The centres we’re auctioning this month are among those; for the most part selected from extensive retail portfolios offered by property funds and REITs that started a process of realigning investment priorities a couple of years before the pandemic and continue that process now.”

The retail centres on auction include:

Genesis on Fairmount

This seven-storey, 17,812 sqm mall is found in Fairmount, Johannesburg.

The retail node is anchored by Woolworths, Pick ń Pay and Clicks and is made up of 74% retail space with apartments above.

It also features large amounts of open-air and underground parking facilities.

Source: Facebook

Fontainebleau Village

This 6,389 sqm shopping centre is located on Rabie Street, Johannesburg.

It focuses on community convenience with a tenant mix of fast food franchises, restaurants, a butchery, Postnet, ATMs and cellphone stores.

Source: Supplied

The Shoprite-anchored community retail centre in Florentia, Alberton: 

The busy centre is near the Alberton CBD, and most of its footfall is due to the long-term lease of a large Shoprite and Shoprite Liquor Store.

The centre is only roughly 3,090 sqm, but the overall site is over 8,000 sqm.

Source: High Street Auctions

Buco Hardware-anchored retail sites

Three retail sites anchored by Buco will also be up for sale – Salt River, Cape Town; Witbank, Mpumalanga; and Kimberley, Northern Cape.

All of the portfolio disposals come with triple-net lease agreements.

Source: High Street Auctions

On top of the properties above, there is also great interest in malls in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.

“Both are community retail centres with high consumer footfall numbers, partially because they’re anchored by national supermarket chains,” Dart said.

“The other reason is because of where these centres are located – one in Motherwell and the other in KwaZakhele; both densely populated townships that fall within the Nelson Mandela Bay municipality.”

“Townships are massively under-represented in South Africa’s retail sector. This presents enormous opportunities for entrepreneurs to establish a foothold ahead of the country’s larger investment funds.”

According to AfricaScope Director and Geographic Information Systems Specialist Craig Schwabe, only 10% of South Africa’s shopping centres are in townships.

However, 34% of township residents travel to the shops on weekdays, as opposed to only 25% of non-township dwellers in South Africa.

During weekends, 42% of township residents shop, whereas only 31% of non-township residents do.

“Malls play a vital role in township shopping habits, particularly during weekends when residents have more time to consider their purchases. The proximity of shopping malls to consumers affects their shopping habits, with more accessible malls leading to more frequent purchases’,” Dart concluded.