Sales reflect recovery

A well-attended massive auction sale of property shows that the South African property market is thawing, Alliance Group auctioneers said on Wednesday.

The auction of 640 individual properties took place in Sandton, Johannesburg on Tuesday.

According to the auctioneers, this was the first time in the history of South Africa that so many properties had gone under the gavel at one time.

"The multiple sale attracted over 350 bidders and shows that commercial property markets are without doubt thawing", said Alliance Group chief executive Rael Levitt.

The sale witnessed one of the auction group's busiest sales rooms this year with extremely competitive bidding, he said.

Over R320-million was raised, reflecting a value success rate of over 93 percent, the Alliance Group said.

"This made it the biggest October auction since 2007."

Eight lots sold for over R10-million, five of which were over R20-million.

The sale included the liquidated Philken portfolio at R163-million as well as the Wendywood Shopping Centre at R23.6-million, Process House in Randburg for R14.3-million, a Pretoria industrial facility at R13.3-million and a Southgate development site at R12.2 -million.

"A wide range of cash-rich buyers, together with a limited supply of properties and realistic pricing, resulted in us achieving prices under the hammer, on average 15 percent above their reserves," said Norman Raad, commercial property director.

"With the continuing low interest rates offered on cash deposits, buyers are still more plentiful than sellers," he added.

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