Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  06 Aug 2010

COMMERCIAL LEASING: Tenants Increasingly Negotiating Better Deals


Recent Gauteng Business News

Despite a tough year, challenged by a depressed property market, one of Broll Property Group’s top achievers – Sia Thomatos, recipient of the Broll Cape Broker of the Year Award – believes that the commercial leasing property market is slowly showing signs of recovery.

Specialising in commercial leasing and owner-occupier sales, Thomatos says that tenants are increasingly looking for deals that offer greater value.

“Prospective tenants, whether they are looking for a renewal or new premises, are doing their sums. They’re also more informed when it comes to available properties on the market.”

Thomatos notes that tenants are also proactively negotiating with property owners, in order to get the best deal. And they are also prepared to endure the inconvenience of a move if need be, provided they get the value they’re after.

“Tenants are no longer signing deals quickly – they’re carefully considering all relevant facts, including their exact space requirements. They are also increasingly taking advantage of attractive tenant installations offered by new developments. If it’s cheaper to move, then it’s likely they will do so.”

Thomatos has seen that five year leases and five year options are still the most popular option for larger companies seeking space. “For smaller companies we prefer to advise that businesses do not commit to a lease longer than three years.”

Reflecting a tough economic environment, with some businesses battling and more space becoming available, Thomatos has also noted a general increase in sub-leasing, with escalations currently running at approx. 9%. On larger deals, this can drop to 8%.

New developments are also offering excellent deals, which include tenant incentives, higher fit-out allowances and some rent-free periods. “One new development, which initially launched with rentals of R120 per sqm, has brought this down to R95 per sqm – another indicator of the soft market.”

With 14 years experience in commercial leasing, Sia is no stranger to the current market. “This is similar to the market ten years ago, and as was the case then, the pressure is on landlords, with tenants expecting more.”

She believes that an unwavering focus is the key to clinching and structuring property solutions for business clients and it is this that drives her commitment to excellence.

Broll is a multi-disciplinary property services company with over 35 years experience in the property industry. Its services include property, shopping centre, utilities and facilities management as well as sales, leasing, valuations, retail consultancy, corporate real estate advisory services, research and investment services to the retail, commercial, industrial and investment markets.

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