cash register 2 5 billion
Retail transactions for Q3 for this calendar year came to over two billion, according to Cushman and Wakefield. Image: Canva.
  • Retail second strongest behind office for transaction volumes
  • Industrial transaction volumes slowed in Q3
  • Industrial land values, and rent remain strong

The Property Tribune recently covered the latest from the Dexus and Cushman and Wakefield quarterly reports on Australia’s real estate, with the overview and look into offices available here.

Retail

Earlier this year, the distinction between retail sub-sectors became starker, but all seemed reasonably straightforward: discretionary retail suffered, large format, and other essentials fared well.

Cushman and Wakefield said following office investment, retail transaction volumes were the next highest, totalling $2.5 billion in Q3 from 48 transactions.

“It was the strongest Q3 for retail since 2018, boosted mainly by the sale of sub regional and large format retail and neighbourhood convenience centres, including the Casey Central Shopping Centre for $225 million.”

Cushman and Wakefield

The extended lockdowns across New South Wales and Victoria unsurprisingly impacted trade, with retail turnover declining 13.9% in NSW, and 5.7% in Victoria, according to the Dexus Australian Real Estate Quarterly Review Q4 2021.

For states that avoided lockdowns, sales grew 0.3%, and nationally, retail sales increased 7.1% over the past year in moving annual terms.

The Dexus report also noted that as Sydney and Victoria emerge from lockdown, discretionary spending is expected to surge; so far that has proven true.

While smaller shopping centres anchored by supermarkets performed best, the Dexus report found that shopping centres were not able to capitalise on all the growth in spending in the past year; large regional centres were one of the worst-hit.

In Cushman & Wakefield’s Marketbeat for Q3 2021, the report said retail transaction volumes were only marginally down from Q2. The second quarter of this calendar year saw $2.5 billion over 50 transactions, whereas Q3 saw $2.48 billion from 48 transactions.

Despite this, it remains the strongest Q3 on record, according to the report, annual retail transaction volumes were said to peak in 2018 at $9.7 billion.

Aside from Casey Central Shopping Centre, other large transactions for the quarter included Mount Pleasant Centre which went for $162.5 million, and several properties were acquired by HomeCo Daily Needs REIT (ASX: HDN) for $160 million.

Industrial

The market saw transaction volumes slow in Q3, Cushman & Wakefield said, “Following a record $8.3 billion invested in industrial assets in the June quarter, volumes slowed to $2.2 billion in Q3, though is double the average quarterly volume of $1.1 billion.”

With an eye on rent, however, Dexus said the industrial market has continued in top form, with the lockdowns in Sydney and Melbourne driving demand in the logistics sector as online sales continued to surge.

Competition for the best assets continued to drive rents up:

“The West Melbourne market surged with rents growing by 6.8% over the September quarter for a gain of 11.8% in the past year. Outer West Sydney experienced a robust 2.2% in the quarter for an annual gain of 4.8%.”

Dexus Australian Real Estate Quarterly Review Q4 2021

The Dexus report noted that “Perth is beginning to follow the trends evident on the east coast, with East Perth recording its second consecutive quarter of rent growth (4.1%) taking the year-on-year growth to a staggering 8.5%. Rents remain at a 23% discount the peaks of 2012, reflecting significant upside.”

The cost of industrial land has continued to grow, Dexus said land values “…[benefitted] from a combination of the weight of capital by developers and diminishing supply of large sites.”

“The Outer West Sydney market has hit $1,000/sqm (2-5 ha), while West Melbourne boasted the strongest growth of all markets adding a further $125/sqm onto its price tag to $500/sqm (2-5ha), a gain of 67% over the year,” said the Dexus report.

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