REA Insights Commercial Property Snapshot, March 2021

For the second consecutive month, we have observed record-high search volumes for the commercial property market – a positive sign that interest from commercial property seekers is coming back.

In February, there was the highest number of national ‘For sale’ and ‘For lease’ searches on on record. Similarly, search volumes for all categories bar a few have hit an all-time high.

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?

National ‘Buy’ search volumes have hit a record high once again, brought about by the highest search volumes seen in all states except for Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory.

National ‘Lease’ searches too were at their highest in February 2021, attributed to the records set by Queensland and South Australia. Western Australia and Northern Territory were the only states that recorded a month-on-month decline, with search volumes decreasing by 3% and 5% respectively.

With the exception of the hotel/leisure and commercial farming categories, which saw the second-highest number of searches this month, all other categories hit a record-high (despite February being a shorter month).

Further, it is interesting to note that there were still some standout categories where searches spiked in February; the office and medical/consulting categories. These two categories recorded month-on-month increases of 44% and 30% respectively, well above the average month-on-month growth of 16% seen across all categories.

What are people and businesses looking to buy?

Showrooms continue to observe the largest year-on-year growth in Buy views per listing (91%), with a 10% increase from the month prior.

The continued growth in interest for this category can be attributed to both Victoria and Queensland, which observed a month-on-month uplift of 23% and 31% respectively.

The medical/consulting sector too is worth a mention, with a month-on-month increase of 16%; the highest among all the categories.

Despite being a modest category in relation to available supply, there is disproportionate demand for the category, almost exclusively in Victoria, which recorded a month-on-month surge of 53%.

The medical/consulting sector is also showing positive trends, up 71% compared to the same time last year.

What are people and businesses looking to lease?

For the lease sector, showrooms saw a substantial 64% year-on-year increase and an uplift of 9% in views per listing from the previous month.

Despite supply in the various states being lower than what they were a year ago, views for showrooms have increased substantially. In Queensland for example, where the largest supply of showroom listings are, supply has reduced by 9% but views have increased by 55% year-on-year.

The land/development category saw strong year-on-year (56%) and month-on-month (11%) growth, propelled by Queensland (up 60%) and New South Wales (up 57%). These two states have the largest share of listings and saw substantial uplifts in views per listing year-on-year.

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

In conjunction with the most-searched keyword of ‘residential’ within the land/development category, it is interesting to see ‘apartments’ appearing on the list this month. This might hint to the rise of residential developers looking for opportunities within the commercial space to build that specific property type.

What is also interesting is the appearance of the keyword ‘gym’ not only in the showrooms category as it has in the past, but it has also made an appearance among searches for medical/consulting listings.

What have been the most popular commercial listings?

The most-viewed commercial listing in February was the Marie Stopes International Clinic in St Kilda East, VIC, 6km from Melbourne CBD.

most viewed listing February 2021

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