How Sydney’s commercial market has fared during the coronavirus pandemic: HTW

How Sydney’s commercial market has fared during the coronavirus pandemic: HTW
How Sydney’s commercial market has fared during the coronavirus pandemic: HTW

The current Coronavirus pandemic is anticipated to have a substantial and lasting impact on Sydney's commercial property market, according to the latest report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

The firm found that, while the precise impact on the industrial market was hard to gauge at this time, many businesses were struggling to sustain themselves and pay rent.

“On the other hand, freight and logistics businesses are seeing huge demand, with many currently thriving,” the April Month-in-Review report added.

“The logistics market was already in high demand prior to the current Coronavirus pandemic, driven by a lack of supply and increases in demand.”

“We expect the logistics market to continue to perform well, particularly later in 2020 and early 2021. Our general view is that industrial assets have been fairly stable in recent years, both locally and globally, and we do not expect that sentiment to change significantly despite the economic conditions.”

The firm anticipated that industrial assets will hold or, should there be a broader decline, sustain their value better than other asset classes.

“Well-positioned, investment-grade assets such as high quality logistics premises are likely to continue to perform well relative to other sectors of the market, although we caution that we do expect there to be fewer buyers.”

The report also found that there was growing optimism about the future of local manufacturing, which is anticipated to result in an increase in demand for factory premises.

There has been significantly increased discussion throughout this Coronavirus pandemic about Australia’s reliance on international manufacturing and the fragile nature of an economy so reliant on external input.

Local manufacturing is therefore tipped to see significant growth in the wake of the pandemic as Australians’ demand for local products increases.

The primary market concern posed by the report was that “mum and dad investors” and small business are facing existential economic challenges.

“We anticipate that this sector of the market may experience some decline in values over the coming months as a result of decreased demand and a reduction in rental returns.”

“We also consider it likely that the closure of restaurants, pubs and other food related businesses will continue to have an effect on the industrial market, particularly for food and beverage warehousing and distribution.”

“Across the industrial market, we have seen many marketing campaigns withdrawn, with vendors opting to wait out the current crisis. This trend is likely to continue until confidence returns to the market.”

“Like most commercial assets in Sydney, we have concern about the ability of some tenants to make their rental payments in full and the general lack of demand for rental properties. We anticipate that it will be some time before this returns to normal and we expect to see longer than usual lease up periods.”

The firm concluded that there were both opportunities and challenges arising out of the new economic situation, however suggested that it is too early to anticipate the depth or breadth of the impact to the industrial market across Sydney.

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Commercial Property Herron Todd White

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