Melbourne group buys up nine Brisbane childcare centres

The nine childcare centres are spread across Brisbane.

Melbourne investment firm Folkestone Education Trust have snapped up nine Brisbane properties worth more than $63 million, expanding its footprint in the booming childcare real estate market.

The centres were sold on a leaseback arrangement with Avenues Early Learning after being offered as part of a portfolio of 13 properties in 2017.

The sale comes amid overwhelming interest in the childcare property sector and CBRE’s Tom O’Driscoll says more than 130 expressions of interest were received following Avenues Early Learning’s decision to direct its focus to expansion in the Sydney and Melbourne markets.

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“Over the past six months, there has been a strong uptick in demand for childcare assets underpinned by recognised and credible operators,” O’Driscoll says.

“Whilst a lot of noise remains in this sector, there will be a clear difference of value in centres. 

“Avenues Early Learning, as a covenant, drives this value due to its level of performance, quality of centres and key locations.”

The nine properties are in Aspley, Carina, Jindalee, McDowall, Parkinson, Sunnybank, Shailer Park, Paddington and Norman Park.

Each site was offered on a 20-year leaseback agreement to Avenues Early Learning, with four five-year options available.

Folkestone Education Trust CEO Nick Anagnostou says the ASX-listed group is “pleased to be able to transact with Avenues Early Learning on these quality centres”.

The campaign to sell the final four assets – located in Bowen Hills, Cannon Hill, Camp Hill and Sunnybank Hills –  will commence shortly, with a price expectation in excess of $50 million.

The total portfolio of 13 centres has previously been estimated to fetch $102 million.