ApexHi Properties secures lease deals worth R173m.

Posted On Tuesday, 13 May 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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SA BUSINESSMEN appear unhappy that the other Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) countries Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland are joining SA in free trade negotiations with the US, South American members of Mercosur, India and Nigeria, among others.

Gerald LeissnerTHE ApexHi Properties portfolio attracted leasing deals worth R173,2m and covering 167237m² in the period from July 1 to March 31 this year, but it still has a vacancy rate of 14%.

 ApexHi announced yesterday that the portfolio, adjusted for purchases and sales, consists of 1,6-million square metres of leasable space of which 1,34-million square metres, or 86%, was let at the beginning of the period.

 Leases on 173000m² expired during this period, and renewals were achieved on 112000m².

 New leases were granted on more than 55000m², leaving the portfolio with an almost 14% vacancy rate again at the end of the period.

 Len van Niekerk, property analyst at SCMB Securities, says that what is of concern is that ApexHi was only able to renew 65% of its leases on 173000m².

 Van Niekerk says this could mean that ApexHi still has tenants moving away from central business districts or upgrading from B to A-grade space within the central district as the rental deferential is quite small.

 ApexHi Properties CEO Gerald Leissner says that although it had vacancies of 6000m², this represents a small increase in view of the 1,6-million square metres of leasable space.

 Leissner says the renewals, amounting to R110m, were a key component of ApexHi's business strategy as it is "generally more effective than new lettings" because there is a saving on tenant installation costs.

 Most deals were secured with A-grade tenants such as government, parastatals and blue-chip companies accounting for more than 74% of space, he says.

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