REA Insights Commercial Property Snapshot, April 2021

Demand for property on continues to soar as ‘For sale’ and ‘For lease’ searches reach new heights in March 2021. Demand is high and broad – all asset classes experienced a record month for search volumes. 

In this month’s commercial snapshot, we continue to track search volumes over time and demand by category. We also provide a view of user behaviour by analysing the most-searched keywords per asset class as well as looking at the most popular commercial property listings for the month.

How are search volumes tracking?

‘Buy’ search volumes have increased consistently since the start of 2021. In March, a record-high number of searches was recorded across all states.

While national searches increased by 17% compared to the previous month, it was New South Wales that recorded the highest month-on-month increase of 21%. This was followed by Western Australia and Queensland that saw a month-on-month increase of 18% and 17% respectively.

‘Lease’ search volumes showed a very similar trend, with a record number of searches across all states in March bar Northern Territory.

Nationally, lease search volumes increased by 11% month-on-month. Tasmania recorded the highest month-on-month growth of 20%, followed by Western Australia (18%).

Given that the country was in wide-spread lockdown by the end of March 2020, it is unsurprising that the year-on-year percentage changes for both the ‘Buy’ and ‘Lease’ sectors were abnormally high this month. National ‘Buy’ search volumes were 94% higher and national ‘Lease’ search volumes were 86% higher than what they were this time last year.

Search volumes across all asset classes hit a record-high last month.

Searches for medical/consulting (38%) and office (27%) listings continue to show the largest month-on-month growth compared to the other categories. However, commercial property seekers actively search for industrial/warehouses listings more than any other category.

What are people and businesses looking to buy?

At a national level, all categories saw a positive month-on-month change in views per listing in March, with the largest being the medical/consulting sector (32%).

This was driven by a sizeable increase in Queensland (46%) which holds the largest number of such listings. Victoria too observed a substantial month-on-month growth of 32%.

The chart below shows the month-on-month percentage change of views per listing, rather than the typical year-on-year figures usually presented in this report. The year-on-year trend is abnormally high given March 2020 marked the start of COVID-19 lockdown, which saw demand dive temporarily.

The retail sector saw a substantial month-on-month growth of 21%, attributed to the increase in views per listing in all states, especially Tasmania (37%).

What are people and businesses looking to lease?

As with ‘Buy’ views per listing, all categories observed month-on-month growth for ‘Lease’ views per listing, albeit to a smaller extent.

The hotel/leisure category recorded the highest growth of 17% which can almost exclusively be attributed to the surge in views per listing in Western Australia (67%). While the number of listings remained consistent month-on-month, views were 2.5 times higher.

What are the features that people and businesses are looking for?

The most noteworthy category this month was the office sector, due to its diverse range of search keywords. With the increased demand for medical/consulting commercial properties, it is interesting to see the keywords like ‘medical’ and ‘childcare’ appear outside of its own category search. This might give us some insight into the increased demand for multi-purpose or ‘convertible’ offices.

Within the land/development category, the keyword ‘apartments’ continues to climb in the ranks, from being the ninth most searched keyword in February to the seventh in March.

What have been the most popular commercial listings?

See the top 10 most viewed commercial listings nationally and in each state below.

The most-viewed commercial listing in March was a multi-use warehouse-style office in Clifton Hill, VIC which holds high future potential, being in close proximity to various development projects.

clifton hill vic