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Commercial Property

Gold Coast Office Market Lagging


While a sense of confidence has returned to the Gold Coast economy ahead of the city hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games, it has not translated as well to its office market, according to Ray White Commercial.

Ray White Commercial Head of Research Vanessa Rader said the total vacancy position of the Gold Coast office market after three years of stability was up 90 basis points on January 2016, results to 14.3 per cent in July 2016.

“With only limited supply completions this period of 800 square metres, the increase in vacancy has come from tenant losses with net absorption for the six months to July 2016 recorded at minus 4,511 square metres,” Ms Rader said in the Between the Lines Gold Coast Office Market Report September 2016.

“This is strongly weighted to the A grade market which has increased vacancy from 15.9 per cent last period to 18.7 per cent as well as C grade, which was up from 11.2 per cent to 12.9 per cent.

“B grade was the better performer resulting in 1,877 square metres of net take up over the last six months reducing vacancy to 12.4 per cent, the lowest rate in two years.

“Bundall and Southport remained steady at 12.4 per cent and 15.5 per cent respectively, while Surfers Paradise has had a strong reduction to 19.3 per cent from 29.9 per cent just 12 months ago.

“Broadbeach vacancy grew to 8.8 per cent while the larger Varsity Lakes/Robina region has recorded a large minus 4,301 square metre tenant contraction with vacancies to 10.0 per cent this period up from 6.9 per cent just six months ago.

“The bulk of this is due to Members Alliance dissolving, leaving close to 4,000 square metres at The Rocket building in Robina,” she said.

Ray White Commercial, Gold Coast Steven King said the Gold Coast investment market has yielded good results with new lows achieved in yields for many industrial and retail investments.

“There still is a demand for tenanted office assets and due to the current low interest rates many tenants are opting to buy rather than lease,” Mr King said.

“Looking forward, the ongoing fundamentals of low interest rates and improvements to the economic position of the city should be a strong driver for this market.”

Original article published at  by Staff Writer 20/9/16

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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.


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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.”


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Commercial Property

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.

Efficiency gains

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.”

Australian cattle farmers are enjoying a golden era learn more from the Hartley family ThankAFarmer Hartley Grazing  


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