quarterly-review-industrial-office-2021-q4-feature
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  • Office transaction volumes were down, recorded at $2.7B
  • Industrial continues to be buoyed by the e-commerce sector
  • Transaction volume for industrial was $5.4B

Earlier, The Property Tribune reported on the overall state of the real estate market and residential.

Now, we look into office and industrial, with each sector offering some intriguing trends and statistics.

On the one hand, office is expected to continue its recovery as business indicators look increasingly positive. White collar employment is also on the up, however, the mode of work continues to be on the minds of employers and landlords. Many long for collegiality in an office space, but flexibility remains front of mind for many.

Industrial also remains incredibly hot, with vacancy rates continuing to see record lows. The desire for more space is high, but can a beleaguered construction industry that has suffered yet another blow in recent weeks meet demand?

Office

The business indicators are positive all around, leading to a likewise positive feeling in the office sector.

Firstly, Cushman & Wakefield’s Marketbeat report for Q4 2021 said office transaction volumes were down, recorded at $2.7 billion.

Cushman & Wakefield said the figure is the lowest since 2012 (in the company’s investment series which began in 2009) and 43% lower than Q4 2020.

The figure meant that, for the quarter, office only contributed to 15% of the total CRE transaction volume for the quarter.

The largest transactions for the period included the $463.3 million sale of Woolworths’ Bella Vista headquarters in north-west Sydney to Singaporean fund manager AIMS APAC REIT, with another Singaporean company, Keppel REIT, purchasing ‘Blue & William’ for $327.7 million.

In Dexus‘ Australian Real Estate Quarterly Review Q1 2022, the report said positive business indicators included white-collar job advertisements rising, along with white-collar employment.

The report also noted positive figures for net absorption in Australia’s four major CBD’s for the past three quarters.

Dexus’ report also found office vacancy rates to be largely stable in the last quarter of CY2021, with falls recorded in the Brisbane CBD, North Sydney, Parramatta and Sydney CBD; it was noted this was “mainly due to stock withdrawals”.

Hesitancy remains for the return to the office, with specific mentions about changing Covid rules, and the latest and prevailing strain of Covid.

Industrial

Praises of the sector continue to be made, as it continues from strength to strength.

In Cushman & Wakefield’s Marketbeat, the report found Q4 2021 to be the second strongest on record for transaction volume.

Blackstone continued to purchase Australian industrial real estate, the company acquired GIC’s 49% stake in an Australian logistics trust for $2.1 billion. The Marketbeat report found that that single transaction made up nearly half the industrial transaction volume for the quarter, which was $5.4 billion in total.

The aforementioned logistics trust was Dexus Australia Logistics Trust.

Other notable transactions included the development site portfolio of Qantas in Mascot, which went to Logos for $802 million, and 52-88 Lisbon Street in Fairfield, Sydney purchased for $200.2 million.

In Dexus’ report, the largest amount of growth in the sector was found in Sydney and Melbourne.

“The growth was attributable to logistics firms and retailers investing in extra distribution space to cater for last-mile fulfilment as well as the need to house extra inventory to protect against shortages.”

Dexus Australian Real Estate Quarterly Review Q1 2022

A number of other notable events in the industrial sector included a record low national vacancy rate of 1.3%, according to CBRE as cited in Dexus’ report, with the lowest vacancy found to be in Sydney at 0.4%.

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