Property markets take off in the wake of airport developments

The development of airport infrastructure around SA is fuelling nearby commercial and residential property markets and while there are many who decry the effects of noise pollution, the impetus seems unstoppable says a leading property commentator.

Gerhard Kotzé, CEO of the ERA South Africa property group, says airports and their expansion still generate mixed reactions but there’s little doubt that the economies of surrounding areas benefit.

“South Africa, under the impetus of the Soccer World Cup and other influences, has extensively upgraded its airport infrastructure recently in terms of both international and regional feeder services.

“Unsurprisingly, the biggest investment of late has come from the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA), which has now come to the end of a R17bn development programme, including the commissioning of spectacular new terminal buildings at OR Tambo International, Cape Town International and KZN’s King Shaka International airports among others.”

This kind of parastatal development is to be expected, he says, particularly in support of a major sporting event such as the World Cup but it’s interesting to note the private sector development of airports in recent years as well, including the major upgrades of Lanseria and Wonderboom airports.

“And new property development flows in the wake of these projects - in the case of Lanseria International for example, now Gauteng’s second biggest airport, a new R200m industrial estate with further investment of some R7bn over time is in the pipeline which in turn is expected to spark off additional residential development.

“Surrounding Wonderboom, a residential air park is being constructed along the lines of much talked-about developments of this nature in the US elsewhere in the world, while in the Welkom area a R3bn, three-phase development project including residential, entertainment, cultural and sports facilities is reportedly on the cards.”

Similarly, the development of King Shaka International north of Durban has definitely stimulated property markets in La Mercy, Umhlanga, Ballito and other north coast centres while in Mpumalanga, the Kruger Park Mpumalanga International airport is credited with spurring all manner of economic activity in Nelspruit and beyond, Kotzé notes.

“Clearly there will always be those who avoid acquiring property in airport approach areas but on balance it would seem the benefits of airport development for the property sector are very positive.”

Article by: www.era.co.za