Most viewed: Retail and development sites prove popular commercial listings
Retail and land/development properties dominated interest in the commercial market over the past week, securing six of the top 10 spots on realcommercial.com.au’s most-viewed listings.
A new café in Yatala, on the northern outskirts of the Gold Coast, was the most sought-after listing in Australia in the week from January 28 to February 3, piquing interest from investors.
Other commercial listings to draw attention included a tiny 37sqm retail space in the Adelaide suburb of Prospect that is currently leased to a neighbourhood café, a dated shopfront-residence in West Brunswick in Melbourne, and 139sqm of land in central Hobart, which is leased as car parking bays with rented billboard space.
Paul Bates, from Corwells – Yatala, said there had been a significant response from investors to the week’s most popular listing – the sale of 11/61 Cuthbert Drive, Yatala, which is currently tenanted to the Brewed on Cuthbert café.
Mr Bates said the new 216sqm property, which has a seven-year lease in place, had appeal because of its Pacific Highway frontage and 16 car parking bays.
“You tend to get a strong amount of inquiry on investment stock,” Mr Bates said. “This property is being looked at by investors. It’s highway frontage, it’s a brand new lease, a brand new building.”
Mr Bates said the coronavirus pandemic had unearthed more local investors than ever before.
“We’ve certainly seen an uplift in the last three to four months of last year, cash buyers looking to spend money in Australia. They’re obviously not travelling so that’s making a big difference to the interest we are receiving,” he said.
“It’s great to see local money being spent locally.”
REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee said retail properties and land with development potential were rating well on realcommercial.com.au, despite obvious challenges in the retail sector.
“Retail in shopping centres is one of the most challenged commercial property types at the moment and they have been further hit by COVID-induced changes to the way that we spend, the most obvious being online shopping,” Ms Conisbee said.
“We have always shopped online but COVID is making us shop online even more because of the way lockdowns have worked.”
Ms Conisbee said that movement away from physical retail meant many shopping centres and shopfront owners were reluctantly accepting lower rental returns than they previously did. Some sales would be a result of financial distress, she said.
“As a result, the overall returns that they’ve been able to achieve have been quite dramatically reduced.”
Ms Conisbee said there had also been a resurgence of developers in the market, bucking predictions of a bottoming out of the market.
“A lot of people are looking at land developments at the moment,” she said.
“This was a sector of the market that people thought would see very high levels of distress during the pandemic, but the government stimulus, particularly HomeBuilder, has meant that house and land has done particularly well.
“The fact that we’re seeing a lot more people searching for development sites is more of an indication of market strength than what we’re seeing with people looking at shopping centres and shopfronts, which may be more to do with distress and also the changing nature of the buyer type in that category.”
The top 10 most popular commercial listings
Here are the top 10 most-viewed listings in Australia on realcommercial.com.au between January 28 and February 3:
1. Cafe in Yatala, Queensland
Investors have made strong inquiries for the retail opportunity at 11/61 Cuthbert Drive, Yatala, which is currently tenanted by new café Brewed on Cuthbert.
The 216sqm property, which has a seven-year lease in place, fronts the Pacific Highway and has 16 car parking bays, as well as a covered alfresco area and storeroom.
The sale of the property, which attracts $92,000 in rental income annually, is being conducted by negotiation.
2. Studio office in Adelaide, South Australia
The week’s second-most viewed listing was an Adelaide studio office, which has been on the market less than two weeks.
The Sturt Street property has been pitched as being an ideal office for a legal business, with close proximity to the law courts.
It includes an open plan office, meeting room, kitchen, toilets, secure storage and a lock-up garage at the rear and is available to purchase or rent, with the vendor is seeking offers over $800,000 for the sale.
3. Warehouse in Clayton, Victoria
Offered for the first time in 60 years, this large commercial warehouse finds itself within a tightly-held industrial pocket of Clayton, in Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.
In its second week on the market, the property incorporates a 500sqm building on a 780sqm landholding with on-site parking and close proximity to arterial routes including the Princes Highway and Monash Freeway.
It is due to go to auction on 3 March.
4. Tiny cafe in Prospect, South Australia
From spacious to teeny, the fourth most-popular commercial listing goes to a quaint site on Churchill Road, Prospect, which is currently leased to a little coffee shop, Neighbourhood Espresso Bar.
At just 37sqm, the property is proof that good things come in small packages.
The site includes an allocation of secure car parking and a separate storage shed.
The vendor is asking $295,000 for the sale.
5. Shop/residence in Brunswick West, Victoria
A perfect work-from-home proposition, this shopfront and adjoining residential space in popular Brunswick West could be an ideal space to sit out the COVID pandemic.
The property sits on a 202sqm landholding and includes a multi-purpose front room, two bedrooms, a separate living room, kitchen and a bathroom.
In addition, there is a private courtyard and parking for at least two cars, or jump on the tram that goes straight past the front door.
It goes to auction on 27 February with a price guide between $680,000 and $730,000.
6. Paint store in Port Adelaide, South Australia
Tenanted to Wattyl Paints on a long-term lease arrangement, this 855sqm site in Port Adelaide has 85m of street frontage and a 307sqm showroom.
The lease is in place until 2030 with a further two five-year options.
The property is for sale by investment portfolio auction and will go under the hammer on 24 February.
7. Showroom in Nerang, Queensland
This versatile commercial property in Nerang on the Gold Coast is all about the location.
Currently occupied by Hertz car rentals on a lease until 2028, the 1512sqm site is on the doorstep of the M1 Pacific Motorway, providing connectivity to other parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales.
It offers 351sqm of floor space and more than 700sqm of concrete hardstand, including 34 car parking bays and a wash bay.
It goes to auction on 24 February.
8. Childcare facility in Mount Martha, Victoria
Home to Little Acorns childcare chain, this site is a significant investment opportunity on the Mornington Peninsula.
Set on a 1040sqm corner block, it includes a 706sqm purpose-built, multi-storey childcare facility with capacity for 80 long daycare places.
The 10-year lease has two 10-year options until 2050 and nets $306,305 a year in rental return, with fixed 3.5% annual rent increases.
It is due to go to auction on 24 February.
9. Residence in Silverwater, NSW
This modest residential property in Silverwater has been pitched as a development site, with concept plans already drawn up for a 360sqm freestanding warehouse.
Currently a two-bedroom home, the 480sqm block provides scope for an industrial development subject to council approval.
The property, which was the most-viewed listing in New South Wales last week, will go to auction on February 27.
10. Land in Hobart, Tasmania
What could you do with 139sqm of prime land in central Hobart?
Currently leased as car parking bays and rented billboard space, this site in downtown Victoria Street offers flexibility with development potential and has attracted a high volume of views, making it Tasmania’s most popular listing last week.
The car parking bays are leased at $195 per bay per month, with the billboard tenanted to signage company Claude Neon.
It is being marketed through an expressions of interest campaign.