Acland Street in Melbourne's St Kilda tops Beller Commercial's 2016 shopping strip research

Acland Street in Melbourne's St Kilda tops Beller Commercial's 2016 shopping strip research
Acland Street in Melbourne's St Kilda tops Beller Commercial's 2016 shopping strip research

Melbourne's shopping strips are witnessing an emerging trend in that those further out of the traditional 5 km CBD radius are performing well, according to new research. 

Beller Commercial have just completed their first quarter strip shopping research, a matrix of 28 key shopping strips that shows the number of shops, number of vacancies, average asking rent per square metre and yield.

The research is conducted on ground with agents taking to the streets and physically counting the ‘for lease’ signs vacant stores, checking web listings and then the data is put together for the final results.

"It is important to look at ranking and ask, what is showing the most improvement, specifically in terms of low vacancies and rate per square metre?" says a note from Fred Nucara, director of Beller Commercial.

As one goes further out, the satellite villages are servicing well-established, affluent pockets demographic pockets. Also adding to the popularity of these strips are new medium, 4 – 5 level medium density residences which are more prevalent in suburbs such as Glenferrie Road, Malvern, Whitehorse Road, BALWYN and Burwood Road, Hawthorn, according to the research.

"Everyone is taking these ‘villages’ for granted but it is important to take it to the next step as an investor. These burgeoning neighbourhoods are a well kept secret, but they won’t be for long," writes Nucara.

Other top performers that have managed to flip their fortunes are Toorak Road, South Yarra where in September 2014 there were 12 vacancies, today there are only five vacant stores.

Also High Street Prahran, Armadale has seen a drop in vacancies. This can be partially attributed to the completion of new residential apartment blocks, but also rents have come back and are now more affordable to small business operations.

Along High Street, the $600 per square metre is the recently adjusted asking price from landlords and has encouraged a new generation of entrepreneurs to set up shop, the note says.

"The health and wellbeing category is significant and we are receiving regular enquiry from massage therapists, nail technicians, hairdressers and general fitness operators. It is clearly no longer a case of lets build an apartment building and put a café on the street level, new neighbourhoods require services too."

But along with the star performing strips, there are some shockers as well.

"Fitzroy Street St Kilda still can’t shake off its shady identity. With 24% vacancy rate, the Street is lurching through from summer to summer," the note says.

"Fitzroy Street should have more appeal because it close to the beach. It actually has the same feel that Smith Street, Collingwood had a few years ago. I like to think the future prospects are good (new apartment buildings arriving and the infamous Gatwick Hotel currently for sale). Given the length of the strip, it needs to be better facilitated by car parking. Also there are nearby competing areas, where the street vibe is more pleasant such as Albert Park, Middle Park and Acland Street.

"In conclusion, I’m upbeat about 2016 commercial prospects."

Nucara expects the 2015 momentum to continue as interests rates are low and "it’s a great time to both buy and sell". 

Beller Commercial’s Top Ten Performing Retail Strips

Performance and ranking is based on a ‘consistency’ of low vacancy rates, rentals at maximum levels and diversity of retailers/services over multiple research walks.

1. Acland Street, St Kilda

2. Whitehorse Road, BALWYN

3. ToorakRoad, South Yarra

4. CentreRoad, Bentleigh

5. GlenferrieRoad, Malvern

6. Burwood Road, Hawthorn

7. CarlisleStreet, Balaclava

8. ChapelStreet, Windsor

9. Toorak Village, Toorak

10. Smith Street, Collingwood

Melbourne Shopping

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