Institutional appetite in Brisbane’s fast-trading office market looks set to continue, with property fund manager Centuria the latest group to enter the fray.
And there’s money to be made—with the vendor of Centuria’s latest acquisition, US property investor Hines, making a cool $40 million on the 11,484sq m office asset in less than two years.
Centuria acquired the IBM-anchored 348 Edward Street asset for $89 million on an initial yield of around 6.5 per cent.
Hines picked up the 15-storey office tower from Brisbane property identity Peter Harburg in late 2016 for $49 million.
Nearby, Sydney investor Fife Capital has picked up the heritage-listed Metro Arts building at 109 Edward Street for $11 million, with the not-for-profit Metro Arts relocating to West End.
Other assets that have recently changed hands in the Brisbane office market include QIC’s Q&A Centre—selling to Taiwanese developer Shayher Group—201 Charlotte, which was picked up by Kyko Group for around $126 million, and 116 Adelaide Street, which was sold by a Malaysian investor for $30 million.
Commercial assets currently on the market include RG Property’s 410 Queen Street and Lendlease’s 66 Eagle Street.
Centuria’s newest buy, the 15-storey 348 Edward Street tower, has a 5.1 year WALE and is 89 per cent occupied.
CBRE’s Flint Davidson, Tom Phipps and Adelaide O’Brien along with JLL’s Seb Turnbull and Luke Billiau handled the sale.
Joint Centuria chief executive Jason Huljich said that the transaction grows the group’s assets under management to $6.6 billion.
“Additionally, Centuria’s listed office REIT, CMA, has recently committed to acquire two A-grade office assets for $380 million and completed a $206 million institutional placement [supporting] these purchases.
“Centuria’s listed industrial REIT, CIP, has also settled four acquisitions for a total consideration of around $80 million since June.”
The property fund manager has been on a capital raising spree of late, flagging plans to diversify into the healthcare sector with a $500 million mandate from European giants AXA Investment Managers and Grosvenor Group.
Brisbane rents: Landlords in ‘rosier position’ as unit oversupply eases
Brisbane rents are creeping up and the proportion of vacant homes is inching down, as the city’s rental market recovers from years of oversupply, experts say.
Asking rents for units rose 1.3 per cent to a median $380 a week over the past year, the latest figures from the Domain Rental Report for the September quarter show.
House rents also edged up 1.3 per cent to a median $405 over the same time period, according to the report released on Thursday.
The combined vacancy rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 2.2 per cent during the September quarter.
It comes after a wave of new apartments were built in Brisbane’s inner city in recent years, with the extra supply keeping a lid on rents.
Domain research analyst Eliza Owen said the market was now in good health, despite appearing to be near-stagnant.
Median weekly asking rents for units
|REGION||SEP-19||JUN-19||SEP-18||QOQ % ∆||YOY % ∆|
|Brisbane – City wide||$380||$380||$375||0.0%||1.3%|
|Brisbane – East||$405||$405||$400||0.0%||1.3%|
|Brisbane – North||$370||$365||$363||1.4%||2.1%|
|Brisbane – South||$385||$380||$375||1.3%||2.7%|
|Brisbane – West||$400||$415||$390||-3.6%||2.6%|
|Brisbane Inner City||$420||$425||$410||-1.2%||2.4%|
|Moreton Bay – North||$315||$315||$310||0.0%||1.6%|
|Moreton Bay – South||$340||$335||$335||1.5%||1.5%|
For units, the stability was a positive story compared to oversupply-induced market weakness a few years back, Ms Owen said.
“There’s been a lot of fear about over-development but in the building space there’s been tightening of dwelling completions,” she said. “They’ve come down sharply and are returning to long-run average levels.”
Rents were now trending up and vacancy rates down, she said.
“The picture for south-east Queensland in terms of rental returns is pretty good, it’s also one of the most affordable rental markets for houses.”
Ms Owen said interstate migration, mostly from Sydney, was a major factor in keeping the rental market balanced.
“The tightening of the rental market is off the back of strong population growth and a very affordable lifestyle, and this is reflected in the rental vacancy rate which is down to 2.2 per cent from 2.6 in the previous year,” she said.
Investec Lists Fortitude Valley Office Tower
The newly-listed Investec Australia Property Fund will divest its 11-storey Fortitude Valley office building with an expected price north of $90 million as it moves to recycle capital.
Fresh off the heels of its fully underwritten institutional placement and purchase of three industrial properties in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and South Australia for $84 million last month, Investec has motioned to sell its Brisbane, 757 Ann Street, tower.
Investec purchasted the Nettleton Tribe-designed tower for 68.5 million after it was completed in 2014.
Comprising 9,422sq m of office space with a weighted average lease expiry of approximately five years, the A-grade building, anchored by technology company Asea Brown Boveri, is 100 per cent leased.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Mike Walsh and Peter Court are managing the international expression of interest campaign, to kick off mid-October, with expectations it will generate strong interest from domestic and off-shore institutions, funds and syndication groups.
“The entire commercial component of the asset is structured on a net lease basis, providing smooth, predictable cash flow for investors,” Court said.
Sales over the first half of the year surpassed the total volume of sales over 2018—reaching $1.2 billion, according to Colliers research, with Australian institutional investors dominating the lion share of transactions.
Commercial assets currently on the market include Perth-based investor RG Property’s 410 Queen Street in Brisbane’s ‘golden triangle’.
Recent Brisbane assets changing hands include the sale of the Jubilee Place Office development at nearby 470 St Pauls Terrace to a real estate fund managed by Credit Suisse, Malaysian-backed HCK’s 116 Adelaide street for $30 million, and QIC’s Q&A Centre at 141 Queen Street and 140 Elizabeth Street which sold to Taiwanese developer Shayher Group.
As for development plans in the Fortitude Valley precinct, Sydney fund manager Millinium Capital in August announced plans for a new university campus and 30-storey tower that would comprise student accomodation, co-living and co-working space at 240 Brunswick Street and 11 Overells Lane.
Australian property management startup raises $3.5 million, expands to Brisbane
Australian proptech startup :Different has announced it raised $3.5 million in its latest funding round to continue its national expansion.
The fund raising coincides with the company’s launch into Brisbane today.
:Different is a full-service property management startup where property owners pay a fixed fee of $100 per month instead of a percentage based on the rental price of the property.
The appeal of :Different is their tech base which automates the everyday tasks of a property manager.
:Different’s owner app provides 24/7 access to documents like lease agreements, statements, and maintenance requests, while the tenant app helps streamline requests and fast track communications.
Over the last 12 months, :Different’s customer base has grown five folds with more than $700 million worth of properties now under management across New South Wales and Victoria, while its team has quadrupled to 32.
The latest funding round supports :Different’s ambitions to expand into new markets, further enhance its tech platform and continue to build its team of expert property managers, said Mina Radhakrishnan, Co-Founder at :Different.
“We’ve already had huge success since launching in Sydney and Melbourne, and we’re thrilled to offer the same great offering to Queenslanders,” Radhakrishnan said.
“We have big growth ambitions for :Different. This latest funding round will help us continue to rebuild property management in Australia and beyond.”
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