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Trade trends and the impact on industrial real estate



Trade trends and the impact on industrial real estate

Trade trends and the impact they have had on industrial real estate in South Africa are examined, exploring the economic changes that have driven limitations, as well as opportunities in the industrial property market.


  • In the time that the primary and manufacturing sectors have seen a declining role in the economic make up of South Africa, trade, logistics, and financial and business services have come to play a greater role.
  • The de-industrialisation of South Africa is visible in recent industrial developments. In just ten years (2005-2015), South Africa has seen a total of 11.9 million square metres of industrial and warehousing accommodation, with developers seeing minimal hard industrial developments over this time.
  • The structural change of the economy towards a higher skilled labour force has resulted in rising household income and increased access to debt, which has contributed to rising imports and increased appetite for luxury goods.
  • Trade is a significant contributor to local economic activity, accounting for 15% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This has supported the growth of the storage and logistics sector which accounts for 9% of GDP.
  • However, macro-challenges including infrastructure backlogs and currency fluctuations are limiting economic growth and employment creation in these sectors.
  • Within the industry, traditional financial models of managing industrial real estate are limiting business opportunities for logistics companies and investors alike.

Download the full report to find out what this mean for the future prospects of industrial investments and if occupiers and investors are prepared for economic changes on the horizon.

Download full report