Tough conditions ahead for Sydney retail market: HTW Commercial

Staff ReporterApril 19, 20200 min read

There are tough conditions to come for the Sydney retail market, according to the latest report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

"The retail market has generally performed well over the past few years as a result of demand from investors and the low cost of funding, however that wave seems to now have passed," the firm found. 

There is concern that large chains and well-established businesses that have traditionally offered stable income are no longer considered to guarantee longevity and security for investors.

The March report also predicts that 2020 may see a softening of capital values, a reduction in returns due to a softening of rental growth, moderate increases in supply, an increase in vacancy and an increase in incentives as landlords try to attract tenants.

These conditions are expected to lead to a lack of demand.

"In some instances, the market has been adapting to the changes that are coming. In some areas there has been a shift in traditional uses. As an example, a focus on food and beverage has been observed in some areas and centres," they said. 

In some traditional strip retail precincts, a shift in expectations from landlords and a change in use has also been noted.

"In these areas, the retail strips tend to outperform others more reluctant to change and in some cases, create a revival of sorts. In other areas, there have been traditional retail properties adapting with a focus on professional and health services, particularly at the lower end of the market," the firm said.

The growing demand in this space has meant that landlords willing to adapt and alter their expectations have been able to attract good tenants.

Mixed use zoned properties with potential for redevelopment may hold up, especially if the recent increase in growth within the residential market continues and developers begin to return to the market.

Over the past year or so, while the light rail was being completed within the CBD, there was an increase in demand from high end retail tenants.

These high-end tenants were looking to secure prime locations in order to meet the growing demand for luxury goods, mainly from overseas tourists.

Within the major shopping centres, demand and the wants of consumers has driven demand from retailers.

Food and beverage is dominating that demand. Centres that cater to this by offering a unique venue and plenty of variety are doing far better than those with a traditional layout and tenancy mix.

The report predicts centres that adapt to the changing nature of the industry will continue to perform well, however further predicted a general slowing of the market and lack of demand from investors as they wait to see the outcome of recent media coverage, global events and the collapse of many major retail chains. 

Staff Reporter

Herron Todd White
Sydney Retail
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