OCTODEC Investments, which redevelops properties in Gauteng’s central business districts, is developing four large residential properties worth more than R500m as it looks to benefit from demand for city living.

Demand for residential property in SA has grown aggressively over the past few years — especially in city centres where professionals are seeking housing.

MD Jeffrey Wapnick said on Monday at the release of Octodec’s financial results for the six months to February that his company was well positioned to build large and profitable residential developments and meet the demand. Four projects worth about R653.3m were under construction.

One was the R326.9m Centre Forum greenfield residential development consisting of 400 units, ground-floor retail space and parking in the Tshwane central business district. It was situated adjacent to the new Tshwane House municipal development and was set for completion late next year with a fully let yield of 8.1%.

Another was on Mutual, a R140.4m greenfield mixed-use development situated adjacent to Church Square in the Tshwane central business district. It would contain 142 residential units, retail space and parking.

Octodec reported that distribution per share increased 9.3% to 96.8c in the period.

Mr Wapnick said the group was poised to achieve overall growth of 8%-9% for the year, with the company’s growth being driven by city-based assets rather than its suburban assets.

Ma’alot Investments portfolio manager Maurice Shapiro said Octodec’s results were "very strong" for the first set of results released since it merged with sister companies Premium Properties and IPS Investments.

Meago Asset Management director Thabo Ramushu said the merger would help Octodec build larger developments and the better corporate structure would attract institutional investors.

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