The new Newman government is starting to make decisions and trying to get the construction sector going, but are they making it too hard?
BURSTING out of the shed with a stimulus for the fourth pillar of the economy, the new Government’s announcement of plans to redevelop the government accommodation precinct took most of us by surprise.
It wasn’t on any 100-day plan in a ministerial charter letter and at first glance, looks an awkward fit with a cost-of-living and frontline services government agenda.
Having said that, if it is to be, then the Government needs to be confident that it can conceive, scope and run a process for a project that leads to a transaction strongly resembling the one for which they invited submissions in the first place.
For the past 10 years, the property development industry has suffered at the hands of the previous government, being asked to spend millions of dollars responding to government-sponsored bids only to have the process scuttled or worse, wither slowly and expensively on the vine before dying an unrecompensed death without a decision being made.
Tenancy and privatisation offerings at Bowen Hills, Gold Coast Cruise Terminal, Coorparoo TOD, and – don’t mention the war – North Bank, have been failed government processes that have sapped the will of the private sector.
Any executive in a large property group looking to bid for transactions of this scale will report to an executive committee and board located in, most commonly, Sydney or perhaps Melbourne or overseas not Brisbane or southeast Queensland.
Besides the leap of faith needed for such a remote board to approve significant expenditure on a bid in which they are one of five or six, it is critical that they can believe the competition itself will prevail through to a transaction for the lucky one.
Government will always have the lowest cost of funds and the private sector will always seek a development margin for the whole-of-life risks inherent in developing a very large single tenant building of this quality.
Respondents to a bid process asking for an offer expressed as a rent per square metre will seek a 15 to 20-year term and yes, this does start to look like a mortgage, which in the past has led the discussion back to who has the cheapest source of funds and so on.
With the William St to Brisbane River precinct, there are also many significant and long-standing departmental positions on turf and technical threshold issues that only the state can resolve through internal machinations.
It is entirely unreasonable and unrealistic to expect the private sector to resolve these in or after a bid process. They need resolution as part of the project brief.
These knowns should be acknowledged, dealt with and resolved in the structure of offers sought via the RFP (request for proposal) process or the errors of the past government may be repeated. When a formal bid process crashes, everyone loses.
The current expressions-of-interest process instigated for the William St precinct has got off to a pretty woolly start. When the process does hit the formal bid phase, we all need the RFP for William St and any associated precinct to deliver a set of well-defined technical requirements and exhibit a transaction design, land tenure, title and lease covenant that collectively describe a project that is both doable for government and bankable for the private sector.
At least then the lucky six or so shortlisted bidders risking up to $1 million each on a bid, can concentrate on providing options for a single piece and not a mixed bag of fruit.
There are many varieties of apple on the market, but at least we can clearly ask for an apple. A process that permits exotic star fruit or that southern favourite, the seedy cantaloupe, will be hard to successfully complete.
* James Basham is a director of DMA Partners
Article published on the couriermail.com.au on June 21 2012
Gold Coast shopping mecca Pacific Fair up for sale
Gold Coast shopping centre Pacific Fair is expected to be put up for sale in what is likely to be the nation’s largest retail commercial property sale.
Long one of the iconic shopping and tourism destinations of the Gold Coast, the sale of Pacific Fair in Broadbeach is tipped to set a new benchmark price for sales of major shopping centres following the pandemic disruption.
Pacific Fair will be the fourth shopping centre on the Gold Coast to be sold or put on the market in the past three weeks.
The shopping centre that opened in 1977, and has been renovated and redeveloped six times, hosts 400 stores dining, fashion, luxury and global brand stores.
It is tipped to sell for around $1.8 billion.
Pacific Fair is owned by two investment funds, AMP Capital Retail Trust and AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund.
Both plan to sell their share.
AMP Capital Retail Trust has appointed Colliers International to sell its 80 per cent share in the centre. The AMP Capital Retail Trust ownership includes sovereign wealth fund Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board.
An AMP Capital Retail Trust spokesperson today declined to comment on the potential sale.
The remaining 20 per cent stake, owned by the AMP Capital Diversified Property Fund (ADPF), is on the market separately. CBRE has been appointed for the sale.
The $5.4 billion ADPF fund merged in April with rival fund Dexus, after the implementation agreement was announced on the Australian Stock Exchange in March. Under the merger, Dexus had flagged its plans to sell assets.
The ADPF 20 per cent stake has been valued between $335.9m and $366m.
With the AMP Capital Retail Trust’s 80 per cent share, the total sale price is expected to top $1.8 billion.
Under it most recent $670-million overhaul in 2016, Pacific Fair was transformed into a destination resort-style precinct that turned it into Australia’s fourth largest shopping centre.
Pacific Fair’s expected entry to the commercial property market comes after a flurry of shopping centre sales on the Gold Coast.
In the past three weeks, the State Government’s fund manager, Queensland Investment Commission, revealed it planned to sell a 50 per cent stake in Westfield Helensvale.
In smaller sales, the southern Gold Coast neighbourhood shopping centre known as the “Man on the Bike” shops was sold for $6.2 million in early June.
A week earlier, the Miami Shopping Village sold to a Gold Coast investor for $9.1 million.
Article Source: inqld.com.au
First Home Loan Deposit Scheme extended for new builds, price caps increased
The building industry has welcomed the extension of the federal government’s First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, but experts have warned of the risk of borrowers taking on more debt.
It will enable an extra 10,000 buyers who build new homes to get into the property market with a deposit as low as 5 per cent while avoiding lenders’ mortgage insurance, with the federal government acting as guarantor on the loans.
Price caps for the scheme will be lifted, allowing Sydney buyers to purchase a $950,000 home with a deposit of only $47,500. The previous limit was $700,000 and buyers were not restricted to new builds.
Melbourne’s cap will lift to $850,000 from $600,000, while Brisbane will lift to $650,000 from $475,000.
“The additional grants will not only help first home buyers but also support the jobs of Australia’s tradies at a time when the economy needs it most,” he said.
Purchasers who build a new home worth up to $750,000 or undertake a substantial renovation can get $25,000 grants through the HomeBuilder scheme, which is limited to low- and middle-income earners.
But busy builders said the short time frame was forcing them to turn potential customers away to meet their obligations to current clients, while others in the priciest cities reported strong enquiries but few customers qualifying.
The industry has backed the latest announcement, saying it would support construction jobs.
Izaac Mathieson, general manager of sales and marketing of Queensland-based builder Hallmark Homes, said the extension of the scheme was welcome news.
“That’s a sensible approach given that the HomeBuilder grant runs out at the end of the year,” he said. “It’s great to see an incentive for first-home buyers and new builds into the new year.”
The scheme’s extension will allow first-homeowners in Brisbane and regional Queensland centres to access properties worth up to $650,000 – an increase from $475,000.
Mr Mathieson said any first-home buyer in the market looking for a home above $650,000 “probably doesn’t need the scheme”.
AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver noted recent plans to wind back responsible lending obligations had forced banks to scrutinise borrower expenses to make sure they could repay loans.
“Coming on the back of HomeBuilder and the removal of responsible lender obligations the Government is clearly focussed on supporting the housing market,” Dr Oliver wrote in a note to clients.
“The risk is that it just drives even more people into lots more debt and a possible eventual oversupply of homes given the hit to immigration.”
Stockland chief executive of communities Andrew Whitson said the program would help first-home buyers enter the market, adding that building new homes was an important job multiplier.
“The extension of the scheme will provide welcome stimulus and confidence to the new housing sector, particularly in NSW where the increased price cap will be most beneficial,” he said.
“Buyer confidence is critical to help drive demand and continue to support jobs around the country, and this measure will help restore confidence in the market.”
Housing Industry Association managing director Graham Wolfe said the changes “will support jobs in the residential building industry”.
“The extra 10,000 places for new homes and apartments that the Government has put into this scheme will ensure more first home buyers achieve their goal of owning a home sooner,” he said.
Urban Taskforce chief executive Tom Forrest also welcomed the news, noting it would include the purchase of new apartments, but called on the federal government to apply a similar approach to the HomeBuilder grants.
“The HomeBuilder scheme remains difficult for new apartment purchasers,” he said. “The timeframes for the completion of construction simply don’t work for most projects. The thresholds effectively exclude most new properties in Sydney.”
The peak body for real estate agents called for the extension to be applied to buyers of established housing too.
Minister Sukkar noted some buyers may be able to take advantage of the expanded low-deposit scheme, the HomeBuilder grant and state or territory incentives.
“Combined, the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, HomeBuilder and the First Home Super Saver Scheme represent an unprecedented level of Federal Government assistance for home buyers and the construction industry alike,” he said.
Recent research found the average first-home buyer couple in Sydney would have to save for six years and six months for a 20 per cent deposit on an entry-level house, while Melbourne buyers face six years of saving.
The First Home Loan Deposit Scheme attracted strong interest when it opened in January, offering 10,000 places for the 2019-20 financial year. Another 10,000 places were opened on July 1 for this financial year.
This article is republished from www.domain.com.au under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article
TAWAR RAZAGHI, ELIZABETH REDMAN
AA Reit to buy Gold Coast industrial property for A$38.5m
SINGAPORE – AIMS Apac Reit (AA Reit) is expanding its footprint in Australia with a A$38.46 million (S$36.92 million) acquisition of a freehold industrial facility in Gold Coast, its manager announced on Wednesday morning (May 15) before the market opened.
In a press statement, its manager noted that AA Reit has entered into a sales and purchase contract with GSM Rocket Australia to purchase Boardriders Apac HQ, located in the suburb of Burleigh Heads, Queensland.
The deal amount was arrived after considering an independent valuation by CBRE Valuations Pty Ltd, which valued the property at A$38.46 million.
After including stamp duty payable and other transaction costs, the total estimated cost of the acquisition is about A$41.5 million. This is expected to be funded mainly from Australian dollar debt facilities in order to maintain a natural currency hedge on the acquisition, the Reit manager said.
Assuming that the transaction will be fully funded by debt, AA Reit’s aggregate leverage post-acquisition will increase to 35.5 per cent on a proforma basis, up from 33.7 per cent as at March 31, 2019.
The property will be leased to GSM Operations Pty Ltd for 12 years on a triple net lease basis, which is a lease structure where the master tenant is responsible for outgoings of the property, including repair and maintenance costs, insurance, and taxes, among other things.
Both the vendor, GSM Rocket Australia, and the tenant, GSM Operations Pty Ltd, are subsidiaries of Boardriders Inc, a global actions sports and lifestyle firm that designs and distributes brands including Quiksilver, Billabong and Roxy.
The first year rental from the property is A$3 million, and will increase by 3 per cent per annum, with a rent review at mid-term of the lease, the manager said. Under the contract, the tenant also has an option to renew the lease for another five years.
The development, which sits on a land area of 33,300 square metres (sq m), with a total net lettable area of 14,833 sq m, comprises a warehouse and office facility, as well as a two-storey retail building.
Notable properties in the vicinity include Stockland Burleigh Heads Shopping Centre, and the upcoming Kaufland giant supermarket. The property is also situated about 3 kilometres from Burleigh Heads Beach, and a less than 20-minute drive from Gold Coast Airport.
Koh Wee Lih, chief executive of the Reit manager said: “The proposed acquisition represents an opportunity to further diversify and strengthen our portfolio with a strategic addition that offers a strong tenant profile, and provides income stability to AA Reit. In line with our strategy to build a high-quality, diversified portfolio of assets that creates long-term value for our unitholders, the acquisition will be DPU accretive.
“The outlook for the Gold Coast economy remains positive, as the region is currently experiencing growth across key economic factors including strong population growth, investment into major infrastructure developments and an increase in both domestic and offshore tourism into the region. This investment will enable us to expand AA Reit’s footprint in a market that offers solid long-term growth,” added Mr Koh.
Upon completion of the acquisition, AA Reit will own a total of 27 industrial properties, of which 25 are located throughout Singapore, with one located in Gold Coast, Australia, and a 49 per cent interest in a property located in Macquarie Park, New South Wales, Australia.
As at 10.51am on Wednesday, units in AA Reit were trading at $1.39, up 0.7 per cent, or one cent, after the announcement.
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