“Retail properties are in high demand, a good retail property is always in demand. We’re finding that your older retail centres for example are selling well because [the] cost of a new centre is high so the rentals of course have got to be a lot higher,” High Street Auction Co's joint managing director James Dall told CNBC Africa on Tuesday.
The South African auction industry is one that has seen impressive growth over the last decade in terms of market share, asset inventory and familiarity within the public domain. Property auctions, in particular, have become popular in recent times as well.
“The market is very active. We find that it’s still a buyer’s market, our auctions are getting better attended every time and we’re selling a lot of properties,” Dall explained.
“When you talk commercial, offices are still fairly slow – there is an oversupply of offices. In that sector of the commercial market, it’s a good time to buy. Your higher priced residential homes tend to be the ones that are lagging more than the more affordable houses but, again, a very good time to buy residential properties.”
Dall also indicated that while online establishments seem to be the trend in many areas, it could be a while before live auctions follow that trend.
“Online is important. We find that online is where we get virtually all our responses from of properties today but actually auctioning online is still quite a long way to go. There is some of it done, we don’t do it actively at the moment,” he said.
“If you look at the USA, Australia and the UK for example, there are a lot of live auctions – I don’t think it’s going to be replaced by online completely. It will be a long time before your online property auctions, if ever, would replace your live auctions.”