Canberra remains Australia’s most resilient office market
Image – Canva.
  • The ACT’s real gross state product increased by 2.8% during 2020-21, well above the 1.5% national growth over the same period
  • 38% of the Commonwealth government's workforce is based in Canberra
  • Vacancy rates in Canberra are around 1%

The build to rent (BTR) sector continues to grow in popularity, with the nations capital now becoming an attractive hotspot for such activity.

Given Canberra’s transient, white-collar population, BTR assets are becoming an attractive value proposition.

Despite the pandemic, the ACT’s real gross state product increased by 2.8% during 2020-21, well above the national 1.5% growth over the same period.

The projected growth of the public sector, along with ongoing infrastructure investments, will continue to support the territory’s economy.

Notably, the ACT is forecast to have the strongest population growth in the 10 years compared to other global OECD cities.

“As the seat of Australian Government, Canberra is relatively insulated from the changing economic situation we are seeing more broadly,” noted JLL’s Managing Director – ACT, Tim Mutton.

“This relative safety is attractive to investors, and coupled with our positive economic story locally, tight vacancy rates and very controlled supply pipelines, Canberra is presenting compelling value on a risk adjusted basis.”

Tim Mutton, JLL Managing Director – ACT

38% of the Commonwealth workforce is situated in Canberra. According to JLL’s data, 8.2% apartment rental growth has been recorded in Greater Canberra over the past 12 months (through to April 2022) with a vacancy rate of just 1.09%, as of June.

BTR has emerged in Canberra as part of a wider move towards alternative investment strategies for large-scale investors to create viable investments, such as in multi-unit housing scheme, that aim to fill the current rental market gap.

“Canberra has a particularly transient workforce of high-income earners underpinned by public sector employment, consulting and supporting services which makes it a prime market for build to rent,” said David Hill, JLL Alternative Investments – Australia Senior Director.

“With residential vacancy rates of around 1% and a rental population of 38% versus 30% nationally, we expect Canberra to be a key focus for the national BTR players.”

Apartment complex for sale

JLL has been appointed to sell 100 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, an operational 153-apartment building. There is an opportunity to reposition this as a build-to-rent asset.

Is is also unique given it is a completed asset, thus bypassing rising construction costs, with current improvements estimated at $65 million.

International expressions of interest for this property close on 27 September 2022.




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