It has been a mixed year for a wide variety of property types across the diverse commercial property landscape in Australia, but where do things go from here?
The lockdowns and restrictions introduced by the federal government in 2020 caused an unprecedented level of economic disruption and resulted in once heavily populated CBDs turning into ghost towns.
Incentives for office leasing in the major CBD markets are now at or nearing their peaks, following the reopening of Sydney and Melbourne after significant citywide lockdowns in the second half of 2021.
Meanwhile, the breakneck industrial sector momentum shows no sign of slowing after stay-at-home shopping during the pandemic skyrocketed warehouse values with a little sign of a slowdown as major deals continue to flow.
Loosening Covid-19 restrictions helped retail sales bounce 10.1 per cent above pre-pandemic levels with customer traffic at shopping centres across the country now nearing where it was in 2019.
Shopping centres, student accommodation and hotels are now expected to benefit from high vaccination rates, increased mobility and the reopening of international borders.
Liquidity is returning to these sectors and a more diverse range of capital sources is expected to seek out counter-cyclical opportunities in 2022.
To learn more, The Urban Developer has turned to some of Australia’s leading property experts for their thoughts on the year ahead.
Head of Development
“Centuria has been an early mover in emerging markets that are now coming to the fore, including industrial and healthcare.
“We believe demand for prime-grade assets in these sectors will continue in 2022, with current supply shortages driving development.
“Additionally, with a federal election on the horizon, it will be interesting to see how policymakers address two of the biggest challenges in the development sector—that is supply chain material constraints and skilled labour shortages. Easing of border restrictions will hopefully see more flexibility with skilled labour moving throughout the country.”
Head of Research
“Covid-19 impacted real estate sectors will see improved investor sentiment, while the evolution of the digital economy and changing demographics support the real estate alternatives investment thesis.
“Healthcare related assets are in strong demand for their exposure to a growth sector of the economy and low volatility of returns. We believe that all institutional investment will be viewed through an ESG lens.
“ESG factors are becoming more significant in the real estate sector as they quantify the sustainability of non-financial impacts of investments and are viewed to have a positive influence on long-term return and risk profiles.”
Director – Sales Marketing
“The pandemic taught us a lot of things about consumer behaviour and that if you cover the key fundamentals they will be there to support you.
“Regardless if you are building an office tower, a residential development and/or a retirement resort, if the product is outstanding and ticks all the boxes—location, views, amenity, level of finish, technology—the market will support it.”
“Cabot Properties believes there are structural forces at play around the way consumers choose to live and access food and retail.
“The pandemic did not create these, only accelerate them and they are beneficial to the industrial sector as a whole.
“We predict we will start to see real rental growth coming through in Australian industrial markets, particularly in Melbourne and Sydney, this will eventually be in line with the growth we see in other global markets such as the US and UK.”
Regional Manager – Pacific
“Australia has been in the midst of a hotel development boom and 2022 will be the peak year of hotel openings with the highest increases in Melbourne—3900 rooms, Sydney—2250 rooms, and the Gold Coast—1300 rooms.
“CBD properties are expected to see a sustained recovery as the corporate travel and business meeting segment is pivotal to helping mid-week occupancies.
“We anticipate that there will continue to be high demand for regional destinations particularly in peak holiday times which will undoubtedly flow through to achieved rates, whilst the outlook for capital cities is less clear as operators balance more competition to evolving demand profiles.”
“With change and uncertainty more prevalent in user behaviours, the year ahead will see businesses seeking more flexibility on their property commitments; especially from an office and workplace perspective.
“We are seeing continued strong growth in demand by investors in particular, for assets servicing everyday and experience-based needs such as food stuff, retail services, food and beverage and entertainment—especially in the liberated post-pandemic period.
“We have continued to monitor increases in local-based discretionary disposable income as people change their spending habits avoiding more risky international experiences.
“Overall, economic growth over the medium term is expected to be stronger than the years prior to the pandemic.”
Head of Residential Research
“Some may have felt the need to pause or delay their purchase over lockdown, but the intention is still there to ‘make the move’ to a low maintenance way of living.
“As travel is back on the agenda for many Australians, we will see a growing rise in demand for the branded residences concept and the premium willing to be paid to secure the lifestyle a hotel-led development delivers.
“Branded residences are considered a safe, high-yielding investment to lock-up-and-leave, with exceptional levels of serviceability. As this branded residence segment undergoes rapid growth and evolution, these factors will play a big part in shaping new developments in the coming years.”
“Pre-pandemic, Australia’s developers became increasingly interested in the opportunity to partner with major universities.
“Developers could see the opportunity to link commercial office, retail and residential with the benefit of campus foot traffic and the share of the international student wallet.
“Post-pandemic, universities are realising that significant benefits lie in the opportunity to raise revenue and create tangible value for the student community.”
“I think we are going to see a huge amount of activity in 2022 as there is a lot of pent up momentum across the country. In particular, the ever strengthening in interest regional assets is set to make for a very exciting year.
“Increasing capital will flow towards the regions, not only because of the relatively strong returns, but also because many Australians are discovering how amazing these locations are for the first time, and this can only lead to long-term stability in these regional areas.
“We will continue to see the tightening of capitalisation rates on freehold hotels, motels and caravan parks. This combined with low interest rates and increased domestic tourism makes for a very exciting year ahead.”
Head of Industrial Real Estate
“With industrial vacancy rates at an all-time low of 1.3 per cent nationwide, according to CBRE’s Q3 2021 research, we can expect to see more supply constraints within key infill urban locations and further yield compression along with strong rental growth.
“Quality tenant customers are paramount to delivering value in addition to strong tenant covenants such as long-term lease and triple-net leases.
“We expect to see a continuing shift to on-shoring supply chains to ensure continuity, especially within the manufacturing market. These extends to food manufacturing and packaging products.”
Michael Di Russo
Joint Head of Property
Clean Energy Finance Corporation
“The past year has shown that despite the challenges posed by ongoing Covid-19 disruption, optimism around fundamentals prevails. Investor and capital appetite for ESG will continue to grow as retrofitting properties while considering sustainability aspects accelerates along with being considered from inception for new developments.
“Reducing the embodied carbon in materials used in the delivery of projects by the construction sector will be more of a focus for builders and developers.
“The mid-market is another area that will see further growth as demand continues to expand for energy efficiency in the built environment as developers capitalise on the ongoing recovery, delivering market leading projects that raise the stakes for sustainable buildings across the country.
“In 2022, Australia must be able to leverage its strong pandemic management position and economic credentials to be able drive recovery in our education and tourism sectors. Our assumption remains that recovery will begin in 2022 —assuming borders remain open—and begin to normalise back to 2019 levels in 2023.
“The key student recruitment and tourist markets of China and south-east Asia will rebound and we expect to see a significant volume of customers from these markets over the next 12-24 months.
“The higher ranked Australian universities will outperform their domestic peers and will lead the recovery in international student recruitment in our opinion. We also expect to see stronger demand from domestic students who have for the most part had to study online over the last 2 years, but are likely to be more and more mobile.”
“There will be increasing demand on Universities to provide both a physical and digital campus experience for students and staff.
“Strategies to shrink, repurpose or consolidate campus facilities will continue to be implemented across the sector, with a renewed focus on reducing administrative space and repurposing underutilised spaces.
“Bringing industry on campus to provide work integrated learning opportunities for students along with research collaborations is also likely to be a key priority going forward.”
National Director – Industrial
“The continued uptake of technology platforms (e-commerce and on-line ordering etc) is now the interface between consumers and producers to facilitate their consumption requirements (both discretionary and non-discretionary).
“Producers will invest heavily in fortifying their supply chain and grow their ability to facilitate direct to customer via warehouse/distribution facility.
“Ultimately we will continue to see strong demand on industrial assets well into 2022.”
“From a construction pricing and competition level, confidence needs to improve before we see a return of true competitive tender pricing as there would certainly be a case of ‘once bitten, twice shy’ so to speak, which is completely expected.
“A good six months of stability without noise of drastic price increases will assist in building confidence.
“Confidence will also come from working more collaboratively and openly, particularly when entering into longer term contracts. Any assumed risk will come with a hefty price tag in this new market so make sure you start with the right advice and on the front foot.”
Head of Industrial Research
“We expect that demand for industrial and logistics space will continue to be driven by e-commerce activity, as we forecast the e-commerce penetration rate to reach 20 per cent in the next four years.
“In addition to this, we have seen some significant upward movements in rents in the back end of 2021 and this is likely to continue into 2022.
“The pandemic and the acceleration of e-commerce has also led to the reassessment of inventory levels, and therefore rising inventory requirements in the short to medium term will result in greater demand for space.”
“We can’t know if 2022 will be the end of this pandemic and the year that we see a significant step towards a post-Covid normality. What we do know, is that while the underlying core drivers of human behaviour will eventually resurface, the demands of our clients have substantially changed.
“[As a company] we are enthusiastic about moving further into the suburban office space and meeting our clients’ increased expectations with a focus on enhanced amenity in our business parks.
“More public open spaces, extensive landscaping with outdoor workspaces, communal rooftop terraces and an overall more integrated business community within our industrial estates.”
“The pandemic has undoubtedly changed organisations’ approach to commercial space.
“I think we will see new strategies emerging for leasing and tenanting buildings to cater for new attitudes towards co-working, collaboration, and community.
“I think the hub and spoke model for large organisations will become more prevalent and drive a degree of consolidation of CBD stock and a rebirth of the fringe and suburban workplace sector.”
National Director – Pub Investment Sales
“There will be more of the same in 2022 as the sheer weight of both public and private capital for the asset class, and indeed across real estate sectors, continues to fund consolidation and board-room acquisition mandates.
“The big will get bigger, and we will see a new wave of alternate, enhanced or development uses emerge for smaller hotels as sites are optimised and the diminishing appetite of undercapitalised hands-on operators gives rise to ownership fatigue.
“Expect a number of new closed funds to arrive alongside JV group operators with roll-up strategies and expect continued yield compression for investment hotels as it continues to evolve as the retail asset class of choice, underwritten by valuable perpetual approvals, licences and businesses attracting more sophisticated tenancy covenants.”
Time & Place
“My early prediction is that office environments won’t retreat or become redundant, but there may be a need to increase floor space, making offices bigger to cater for more people to interact away from the home office.
“I think that changes will occur across all commercial sectors, including retail, office and industrial, as each model adapts to a more flexible and mobile society.
“I think it’s likely that we will see the push for decentralised working and distribution through existing assets such as office and retail centres, changing the way these buildings are used.”
“The pandemic—hopefully in a milder form—is here to stay and our industry has proven that we can deal with that.
“The major risk relating to the pandemic in 2022 is the level of uncertainty around government decision making.
“The construction industry in particular needs international and domestic borders open with certainty to ensure free flow of labour and materials to minimise further cost escalation.”
“The adoption of e-commerce during the pandemic has underpinned a lasting change in consumer behaviours. As a result, the demand for quality warehousing and supply chain solutions will be sustained throughout 2022.
“Pandemic prompted shortages in the supply chain and human capital across all sectors will mean businesses will have to innovate to cater to existing and future demand.
“This could mean a sustained demand for warehousing for the industrial sector due to customers wanting to hold more significant quantities of inventory in the short to medium term, paired with the accelerated adoption of robotics and automation.”
Head of Research
Cushman & Wakefield
“Trends that accelerated during the pandemic, such as online shopping and work from home, are expected to continue in 2022. These will either aid or offset the expected tail winds of forecast above-average GDP growth, and an equally strong labour market.
“Industrial sector strength is also likely to continue into 2022, with a wind-back of retail space in favour of warehousing expected to help industrial rents catch up to the surge in land values recorded in 2021.
“While work-from-home is likely here to stay to some degree, an attractive workplace will be key in helping to attract and retain staff in a competitive employment environment.”
Head of Industrial Development
“[The pandemic] has accelerated the structural shift to automation. Rather than should a tenant customer automate, to how much automation can the business model support.
“Moving forward there is going to be a significant focus on providing ‘last mile’ solutions to allow our tenant customers to deliver their products directly to their customers’ homes or businesses.
“This will require significant change to permitted land uses, a need to rethink strategies around zoning, permitted uses, hours of operation and concepts such as multi-level, high density warehousing. This will become critical to allow our cities to function effectively in the future.”
“Consulting firms who have a strong government and infrastructure pipeline are now back to pre-pandemic staffing levels and yet still require more staff. Some larger firms are starting to turn work away.
“Consultants are seeing more confidence from commercial and residential developers.
“Coupled with the already strong pipeline we are seeing from the government stimulus, 2022 is looking to have a high volume of work across the board. Works ramping up include airports, rail and road infrastructure, station precincts, industrial, logistics and storage, build-to-rent and retail mixed-use.”
“We expect to see that purpose built student accommodation projects will restart and accelerate as the flow of international students recommences, possibly after an extension of the current pause while excess capacity is reabsorbed into the system.
“Public universities with large campuses, particularly on the urban fringe and in the regions, are already actively exploring ways to better utilise the land available to them through conventional capital works programs but also in partnerships with private and superannuation funds to develop multi-use and mixed commercial space on campus.
“As for urban campuses, we see that they will continue to expand upwards with more vertical projects replacing low-rise buildings, while bringing some real architectural merit to many of their projects.”
Sandhurst Retail & Logistics
“The pandemic hasn’t changed our focus, and if anything it has cemented our vision of delivering places to visit that offer more than just shopping.
“We aren’t expecting the logistics boom to go away any time soon, and we will continue pushing into that sector and growing our pipeline to deliver sustainable solutions to tenants.
“With so many new residents and houses coming to the regions, there is an opportunity to bring in industry-leading design to create landmark centres that people will be proud of, and that will feel like home for new communities.”
“The pandemic has propelled a trend towards the integration of real estate uses and the promotion of flexibility in how we live and work.
“With a high relative vaccination rate, and international borders opening next year, we see the Australian real estate market strengthening further into 2022.
“We also expect to see a continual diversification of institutional portfolios towards the residential and alternative real estate sectors which have performed well over the past few years.”
Article Source: www.theurbandeveloper.com
Why rising interest rates are good news for property investors
Cashed-up property investors are set to be the biggest winners from the first in what’s likely to be a series of hikes in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s official cash rate.
The rise from the historic low of 0.1 per cent to 0.35 per cent, together with the forecast of more to come, sparked immediate fear and loathing from those whose finances were already strained by record-high home prices.
“I think we will now see a reduction in buyer demand in the market as a result of some of the scaremongering that’s gone on about this rise,” says Nicola McDougall, the chair of the Property Investment Professionals of Australia.
“As a result, the more experienced investors and more savvy home buyers will welcome less competition in the market.
“At the same time, they tend to have the discretionary income and cash flows because they’re high-income earners, so they’re the least likely to be affected by these minor increases in the interest rate.
“They will probably have a more sophisticated understanding of monetary policy and financial markets too, and will welcome a return to more sustainable conditions.”
While the RBA tends to cut rates very quickly when the economy slumps, such as after the GFC and during the COVID pandemic, it tends to lift rates extremely slowly, she points out.
The last time it increased the cash rate because of inflationary concerns was during the two years from March 2006 to March 2008, when the rate rose only two percentage points over the whole period.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show this recent 0.25 per cent rate rise will increase interest rate charges on an average mortgage of $600,000 by an additional $1500 a year.
Borrowers have enjoyed rate cuts of 1.9 per cent over the last six years, says Godfrey Dinh, chief executive of fintech Futurerent, so they shouldn’t be concerned about such a minor lift, particularly as they’ve already been assessed at much higher interest rates.
“Prestige property investors are likely to have most of their portfolios in Sydney and Melbourne anyway, so have benefitted from phenomenal levels of capital growth,” says Dinh, whose company gives property investors up to $100,000 of rent in advance.
“Against those, this interest rate is not significant.
“Most have bought in the cycle and have had a dream run with price growth and rental growth, and they’d typically have a lot of contingencies built in.
“They’ll have good incomes and are happy to run negatively geared property and have no problem covering a cash flow shortfall.”
But it will squeeze everyone’s hip pocket, believes Loan Market director and mortgage broker Alex Lambros.
And if investors are buying more expensive homes, it will hit them harder.
“A 0.25 per cent interest rate rise on a $10 million property will be a significant jump,” he says.
“The wealthier might have different buffers in place – more cash or more assets they can sell to raise cash – but they’ll feel it just the same.
Article source: www.domain.com.au
How To Find The Top New Property Listings
It can be difficult to find the top new property listings when there are so many offers on the market. However, by taking a few simple steps, you can make the process much easier. First, you need to define your market and consider different forms of marketing. Then, connect with other agents in your area and search niche blogs and other local publications for real estate solutions. Finally, ask for referrals from your current connections and use all of the information you’ve gathered to find the best new property listings for your business.
Define your market
When you’re looking for new property listings, it’s important to have a clear idea of the type of property you’re interested in. You need to know your target market inside and out so that you can focus your search on the right places. Consider what type of properties are in demand in your area and what price range you’re looking for.
Once you have a good understanding of your market, you can start to narrow down your search. As seen with off-market properties, some of the best listings are not always advertised publicly. They may be sold through word-of-mouth or by networking with other agents in your area.
Consider different forms of marketing
There are many different ways to market your business, and each one has its advantages and disadvantages. Traditional marketing methods such as print ads, radio commercials,
and TV commercials can be expensive and time-consuming. However, they can reach a wide audience and generate leads quickly. Social media marketing is another option that is often used by real estate agents. It’s a great way to connect with potential clients and build relationships. However, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd on social media.
Connect with other agents in your area
One of the best ways to find new property listings is to connect with other agents in your area. They may be willing to share their listing inventory with you or refer you to their clients. You can also search for real estate agents on social media and connect with them that way. By building relationships with other agents, you’ll be able to get access to the best listings before they’re advertised publicly.
Search niche blogs and other local publications for real estate solutions
Another great way to find new property listings is to search niche blogs and other local publications for real estate solutions. These publications often have classified ads that list properties for sale. You can also find contact information for real estate agents in these publications. By searching through these resources, you’ll be able to find listings that are not advertised anywhere else.
Ask for referrals
If you’re having trouble finding new property listings, ask for referrals from your current clients. They may know someone who is looking to sell their property or they may have seen a listing that isn’t advertised yet. Referrals can be a great way to get access to new listings before they hit the market.
Use your current connections
Finally, don’t forget to use your current connections when you’re searching for new property listings. Your family, friends, and colleagues may know someone who is looking to sell their property. They may also be able to give you referrals to other agents in your area. By using all of your connections, you’ll be able to find the best new listings for your business.
Finding the top new property listings can be a challenge. Use all of the resources at your disposal to get ahead of the competition and grow your business. Thanks for reading!
House prices to plummet as huge interest rate increase expected
A major bank has warned house prices will plummet this year as faster rate hikes have a chilling impact on the property market, amid fears that interest rates could rise by a whopping 0.4 per cent next month.
Earlier this year, ANZ had predicted that house prices would rise by 8 per cent on average in capital cites across Australia, but it has now slashed the forecast to house values dropping by 3 per cent in 2022 on the back of unexpected rate rises for the rest of the year.
The major bank has also forecast that house prices will plunge by a further 8 per cent next year, an even bigger drop than its earlier forecast for 2023.
The country’s third biggest home lender said the Reserve Bank of Australia’s move to raise rates far earlier than expected would have a sobering effect on the property market as buyers are limited by the amount they can borrow.
ANZ senior economists Felicity Emmett and Adelaide Timbrell have said interest rates will hit 2.35 per cent by the middle of 2023, although other experts have tipped them to reach as high as 3.25 per cent by that year.
“Housing prices look set to turn lower in coming months,” the economists wrote.
“While fixed rates have already risen sharply, the steep increases in the cash rate will flow through to variable mortgage rates, lifting minimum repayments significantly and reducing borrowing power. Macroprudential tightening, solid supply and constrained affordability will also be headwinds for house prices.”
ANZ’s economists added that official interest rates of 2.35 per cent would see a variable mortgage rate soar to 4.75 per cent, which would “significantly” reduce how much people could borrow.
House prices have already began to drop in some capitals. In Sydney, prices decreased for the first time since early in the pandemic by 0.1 per cent in April and in Hobart the drop was more marked at 0.44 per cent, the first time prices have fallen since early 2018.
ANZ predicted Sydney house prices would drop the most dramatically in the coming months with a fall of 8 per cent this year as a greater supply of homes hit the market and lenders further tighten their lending standards.
Interest rate rises would also trigger a drop of 8 per cent in Sydney house prices in 2023, their economists said.
For Melbourne, prices were expected to decrease by 5 per cent this year and 6 per cent in 2023, although Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth would buck the trend and still see house prices go up this year.
But 2023 was a different story with house prices predicted to drop by 9 per cent in Brisbane, 13 per cent in Adelaide and 7 per cent in Perth, according to ANZ economists.
Despite the RBA expressing concerns about the impact of higher interest rates on Australians who are highly indebted when it comes to property, according to the minutes published from its May 3 meeting, it still caught experts off guard when it hiked rates by 0.25 per cent.
However, homeowners narrowly avoided an even bigger jump and there’s a risk this super-sized move could be made by the RBA in June, experts have warned.
The RBA minutes showed it was weighing up a rate rise of either 0.15 per cent, 0.25 per cent or 0.4 per cent.
“Members agreed that raising the cash rate by 15 basis points was not the preferred option given that policy was very stimulatory and that it was highly probable that further rate rises would be required,” the minutes said.
“A 15-basis-point increase would also be inconsistent with the historical practice of changing the cash rate in increments of at least 25 basis points.
“An argument for an increase of 40 basis points could be made given the upside risks to inflation and the current very low level of interest rates.
“However, members agreed that the preferred option was 25 basis points. A move of this size would help signal that the board was now returning to normal operating procedures after the extraordinary period of the pandemic.”
Economists are predicting that a 0.4 per cent rate rise could seriously be in play for June.
Commonwealth Bank’s Belinda Allen argued it can’t be “ruled out” and will hinge on data from the Wage Price Index.
Westpac’s chief economist Bill Evans said a 0.4 per cent increase in June could be seen as “best policy” considering labour shortages, rising labour costs and inflation challenges.
He added there was no “real argument” against the 0.4 per cent rise next month, “although the RBA said that because it meets monthly it would have the opportunity to review the setting of interest rates again within a relatively short period of time”.
The RBA’s reference to other central banks around the world moving to raise interest rates could be another telling sign that the bigger rate hike is on the cards.
“Several central banks in advanced economies had indicated that they were seeking to return policy rates to a neutral setting quickly and may increase policy rates further thereafter,” the minutes said.
The RBA also revealed that its economists assumed interest rates will hit 1.75 per cent by the end of the year and 2.5 per cent by the end of 2023.
All of Australia’s banking juggernauts responded to this month’s historic rate rise within hours and passed on the hike.
It’s a challenge that the RBA is well aware of too.
“Housing prices in Australia could also be more sensitive to rising interest rates than assumed, which would be likely to result in lower household wealth and consumption,” the minutes read.
Article source: www.news.com.au
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