A young woman in her 20s recently snapped up her first property – it was a ground floor shop leased to a jewellery business in South Melbourne.
The buyer, who declined to be identified, paid $900,000 and will earn income equivalent to a 5 per cent yield for her efforts.
Another first-time commercial buyer, Mark Murray, was priced out of the residential market for the type of property he was looking for and instead opted for a two-storey shop in High Street Northcote, in Melbourne’s inner north.
“This is my first property. I want to lease out some of the spaces,” he said.
Both buyers are part of a growing cohort looking at entry-level commercial properties as an alternative to the well trodden path of homeownership.
Sky high residential values – Melbourne’s house prices were up 15 per cent year-on-year in September – and changes to Victoria’s residential rental laws are pushing some would-be owners to look at alternatives.
Buyers are finding that the returns on residential real estate are so poor – with yields in the range of 1 or 2 per cent – that they prefer to buy something that will give them 3 to 5 per cent, which is commercial property.
Barry Novy from Gross Waddell ICR
The state’s new tenancy laws, introduced in March, have put a fresh onus on residential landlords: banning rental bidding, introducing minimum rental standards, changing eviction rules, and allowing modification of homes by renters – all of which has sharpened the difference with commercial property, real estate agents say.
Mr Murray said he planned to live in the upstairs section of his High Street property and turn the downstairs into artists’ workspaces and a recording studio. The shopfront, next to Sweet Life Tattoo, sold through Fitzroys’ Ervin Niyaz.
Mr Murray said it was a privilege to be able to buy something and share it with the creative community. “I’ll definitely earn an income but probably not as high rent as other places.”
The overheated housing market and superior rental returns are driving people towards commercial real estate, Stonebridge Property Group’s Dylan Kilner said.
The Dorcas Street building that sold in South Melbourne has a three-year lease to Unique Diamonds with fixed 3 per cent annual increases. Its outgoing expenses are also paid by the business tenant.
By contrast, residential leases are usually limited to one-year and have no set increases in rent with landlords required to pay outgoing expenses like extra water charges, taxes and maintenance costs.
“The buyer was a first-time investor who opted for an entry level commercial investment rather than a residential property,” Mr Kilner said.
Gross Waddell ICR’s Barry Novy said buyers should do their homework before taking the plunge into commercial property because of differences between the property classes.
“Buyers are finding that the returns on residential real estate are so poor – with yields in the range of 1 or 2 per cent – that they prefer to buy something that will give them 3 to 5 per cent, which is commercial property,” he said.
However, commercial property has a greater risk of long periods of vacancy, depending on market conditions. “You’ve got to be able to cover that,” he said.
Leasing contracts in the sector are also more complicated to negotiate and administer.
“There is also a misconception that if you buy commercial property you have less maintenance. That may or may not be true.”
Article Source: www.brisbanetimes.com.au
Landmark Brisbane Hotel Sells for $50 Million
A Sydney-based hospitality group has swooped on a landmark riverside Brisbane hotel at the northern end of the city’s iconic Story Bridge.
Oscars Hotel Group—owned and operated by brothers Bill and Mario Gravanis—has paid $50 million for the Oakwood Hotel and Apartments.
The 11-storey accommodation asset, on a prominent 2966sq m corner site at 15 Ivory Lane, has been offloaded by Singapore’s Mapletree Investments, which purchased it in 2015 for $48 million.
Formerly the Adina Brisbane Hotel, its sits above the Howard Smith Wharves precinct and Crystalbrook Vincent Hotel—originally The Fantauzzo—that was purchased last year by Syrian billionaire Ghassan Aboud in a $70-million-plus deal.
The four-star Oakwood Hotel and Apartments comprises 162 suites, a bistro, business centre, gym and pool but its new owners are expected to undertake a major revamp to capitalise on its prime location within the popular riverside precinct.
Its latest change-of-hands adds momentum to the rising wave of southern property players seeking geographic diversification due to the impact of Covid-19 lockdowns in New South Wales and Victoria.
Industry experts predict the flow of capital into Queensland’s property sector will continue its groundswell over coming years in the lead-up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
The Gravanis brothers—known as Sydney’s kings of hospitality with a portfolio of more than 30 venues across NSW—made their big move into Queensland in May, snapping up Long Island in the Whitsundays for circa $20 million.
They are planning a new resort project for the island off Airlie Beach.
Oscars Hotel Group was established in 1986 with the acquisition of a single pub in Sydney’s inner-west.
Its purchases of Brisbane’s Oakwood Hotel and Apartments and Whitsunday’s Long Island are part of a strategic expansion to gain northern exposure in the tourism and hospitality sector.
CBRE Hotel’s national director Wayne Bunz negotiated the deal.
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Cromwell Sells Ipswich Office Tower for Record $145m
Cromwell Funds Management Limited has sold the Icon building in Ipswich for $144.9 million, a record price paid for an office building in Queensland outside Brisbane.
Castlerock picked up the nine-storey building with 17,870sq m of commercial space after raising $90 million in seven weeks for its new The Auslink Property Trust No 2.
The A-grade tower at 117 Brisbane Street, in the Ipswich City Heart precinct, was built in 2013 and included 207 car parks, 120 bicycle stations and office winter gardens.
Cromwell made the decision to sell because of the $16.4-million premium to the previous book value of $128.5 million and that the trust had less than two years to maturity.
Cromwell head of retail funds management Hamish Wehl said unit-holders would receive a special distribution as a result of the transaction.
“It was a difficult decision to sell the property, however, with less than two years to go to maturity, we felt that money-in-the-hand was the right outcome for unit-holders,” Wehl said.
Castlerock director Adam Bronts said the capital raised showed the appeal of the new fund and the high level of demand for quality property assets.
“This capital raise was the largest in Castlerock’s 18-year history, so it was extremely gratifying to see such keen investment appetite for the fund,” Bronts said.
The Queensland government is Icon’s major tenant, accounting for more than 91 per cent of the net lettable area.
The sale is unconditional and is expected to settle on October 21, 2021. It was put in play through Colliers state chief executive Simon Beirne and Queensland director of investment services Sam Biggins.
“Castlerock’s acquisition is further evidence of syndicator capital moving up the price curve into larger office assets in key metropolitan markets in Queensland,” Biggins said.
“The Icon transaction represents the largest sale of an office building in Queensland outside Brisbane. Castlerock was attracted to the long-term growth prospects of the Ipswich region. which is Queensland’s fastest growing local government area.”
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Preparing for a rural property renaissance
It appears that agriculture has hit a purple patch and the rural property market, like rising commodity prices, is finding new highs.
It is a unique cycle and the key drivers are low interest rates, strong commodity prices and favourable seasonal conditions said Brad James, Rabobank’s Regional Manager for Southern QLD and Northern NSW.
While not every rural producers season is on par, things are still reasonably good and being spurred on by the hike in commodity prices led by beef, grain, cotton and also sugar according to James.
This general alignment of the planets is also backed by a willing banking sector, who is showing great faith in the future of the agriculture industry. Certainly at least that is the sentiment of Rabobank.
James said there is a lot of emphasis on growth, through both on farm investment and expansion into further holdings.
“The property market is going strong and it is difficult to pick where the top point is, particularly in the beef sector as people seek to expand their business and rebuild their herd numbers as prices hit 30 year highs, in relative terms.
“It’s a rare event when the market goes up in contrast with low herd numbers, both domestically and globally and that has helped build the confidence in the land market.”
Watch 2021: The year of farm expansion on RaboTV
Planning to expand
With the keen focus on growth and expansion across agricultural operations, James said it is important to weigh up your options and to have a plan before committing to buying that new property or indeed embarking on major expansion plans that see the enterprise needing to increase debt.
“While the first instinct may be to buy more property so you can grow and expand your operation, as a business it is also important to consider how well placed you will be if there is a correction in markets, a lift in interest rates or a missed season… or heaven forbid, all three.”
“Consider what your appetite for risk is and how well you have mapped out the expansion plan and importantly also consider the risk appetite of other key stakeholders in the business.”
“With so many vagaries to manage in agriculture, most of these out of the producers control, it is important to be agile and prepared to change and open to new thinking or ways of doing things that may be needed to manage through adversity. This applies in a range of commercial (non-farm) businesses also.”
“It is also important to keep a close eye on the level of gearing the enterprise is being asked to manage/service when expanding,” James said.
“This is a highly sensitive ratio to manage when we have escalating land prices, as we have now. The large fixed expense associated with the acquisition of further holdings is serviced by the many variables around the income stream as mentioned. This is why gearing is such a focus point.
“As we all know, it takes time to build the herd and develop country, these should all be part of your business plan.”
James said the impact of an adverse circumstance can vary and some we cannot foresee nor avoid, but if we have a line of sight on the early warning signs and take an agile approach then we stand the best chance of moderating the impact.
“There is one certainty in all of this, those enterprises with the highest relative levels of gearing feel the impact the most. So keeping up to date with market and commodity trends and knowing when to engage that ‘what if’ strategy is key,” he said.
James said the current hike in confidence across agriculture was likely to create some ground breaking innovation in farming, particularly for the beef industry who are enjoying very strong returns, this is often associated with reinvestment into technology and efficiency gains.
“What we are seeing is people reinvesting in their industry with the confidence that this will improve their long term efficiency and in the end profitability,” he said.
“We can expect to see efficiency gains across management practices, pasture development, livestock handling, use of drones, carbon farming, rotation grazing and regenerative agriculture.”
Watch RaboTV to see how virtual fencing can revolutionise your operation
“This could be the catalyst for a road map for the future as producers look to take advantage of this current trend,” said James.
“There are so many tremendous opportunities in agriculture at present and with a measured approach, many can avail themselves of the unique circumstances to develop and grow in what we consider to be among the best agricultural lands and enterprises in the world.”
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Article source: inqld.com.au
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