Agents tip post-Australia Day retail explosion

Supermarkets chain Coles.
Supermarkets chain Coles.

The Australia Day weekend will trigger a deluge of new retail property opportunities as owners seek to  capitalise on the rampant appetite for retail assets, one agency says.

Investors poured $6.5 billion into retail property purchases in 2016, and JLL’s director of retail for Victoria, Stephen Bolton, says there are already signs that this year could be even bigger.

“I can see more records being broken in the coming 12 months,” Bolton says.

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“I would expect that it will pretty much be following on from last year – I would think we will continue to get strong results. There hasn’t been any real change to interest rates or anything to suggest the market is going to change in any way.

“Retail has always been very strong … and will still continue to see money coming in from offshore.”

“Of the investment classes, retail is always looked upon very strongly, and I think that will continue, going forward.”

Bolton says JLL already has numerous major Victorian properties in the pipeline to be put on the market once the Australia Day weekend is over.

Liberty petrol station service retail

A service station leased to Liberty is on the market early in 2017. 

“We’ve already got things lined up ready to go – that’s why I know it’s going to be an active year,” he says.

“We’re basically waiting for the Australia Day long weekend to come and go and then we’ll start putting things out there.”

“It’ll be a couple of standalone supermarkets and we’ve also been told about a couple of service stations that are going to come to the market as well.”

The coming supply of strong retail assets is further evidenced by commercial agency Burgess Rawson’s listings for their first investment portfolio auctions of 2017 in Sydney and Melbourne next month.

The trophy property is a freestanding Coles supermarket at Ferntree Gully in Melbourne’s outer east, with the 2212sqm building potentially leased to Wesfarmers until 2027.

Also up for grabs are a number of service stations, which will continue to be highly prized after petrol sites emerged as one of Australia’s boom asset classes last year.

Among those for sale are a Shell Coles Express at Bacchus Marsh, north-west of Melbourne, and another station with a new 15-year lease to Liberty Oil/Viva Energy at Marion in South Australia.