Out of adversity comes opportunity, and whilst we still face challenging times, I look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.
Lower interest rates during Covid have allowed a new wave of younger first-time buyers to enter the property market. Astute property developers offering a desirable product that is correctly priced have managed to take advantage of this new property cycle.
Whilst interest rates have been increasing, on the back of worldwide inflationary pressure, we don’t anticipate that this will dampen the current demand. We do, however, need the banks to continue supporting this market and allow more South Africans to access the property market.
At Rabie our core focus remains on bringing new residential developments to the market that offer good long term investment potential, and the peace of mind that comes from buying from a developer with a 40-year track record. The Rabie brand will be expanding in the Northern Suburbs and will also see us returning to the Southern Suburbs after a long absence.
It is also encouraging to see the resurgence of the hospitality industry, long may it last. We are experiencing increased occupancy rates at our Century City hotels as conferences and events return to our Conference Centre.
The Western Cape authorities are to be commended for promoting Cape Town as a truly international destination, as well as a fantastic place to live and work.
With Cape Town well-established as a tech and finance hub, I am delighted that the office market is turning the corner at last. We strongly believe that working from the office promotes a healthy, singular company culture and allows hands-on training and mentoring of staff. Even though office rentals have reduced across the board, we believe it will recover in the next three to five years’ time, as very few new offices will be developed, and demand will eventually match supply.
Retirement, and in particular, life rights, remains a key focus for the group, and we’re delighted that our first Oasis Life development in Clara Anna Fontein, Durbanville, a world-class lifestyle estate, is now nearing completion.
As part of our ongoing diversification strategy, we have partnered with a niche developer specialising in developing a portfolio of convenience shopping centres throughout South Africa.
We have much to be enthusiastic about, but as always, it will take hard work and commitment to realise the true potential of the opportunities out there.