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

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

Wollongong’s industrial sector looked set to continue years of buoyant conditions prior to the coronavirus wreaking havoc on the local economy, according to the latest report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

“Obviously all bets are off at the moment with the market broadly in a freeze as investors, owner-occupiers, developers and tenants for the most part adopt a wait and see approach, needing comfort on the long term economic impact prior to making a buying or leasing decision in this current uncertain environment,” the firm said in their April Month-in-Review.

“Each transaction that takes place during this period needs to be scrutinised heavily as motivations of the participants involved will fluctuate quite significantly. This is not a normal market.”

The firm said they were aware of an industrial property owner very close to retirement who was happy to sell at a circa 10 to15 percent discount on what was fair market value as the risk of holding and waiting for the situation to settle was not worth it for them.

“The purchaser was very happy to acquire at this discount, believing values will return to pre-Coronavirus levels in two to three years time, if not sooner.”

The Commonwealth has released a mandatory code of conduct for commercial tenants with an annual turnover up to $50 million, providing a guideline for those impacted by a downturn in trading.

The report concluded that, despite recent downturn, the medium to long term outlook for the Illawarra industrial sector remains strong.

“The region may well benefit from a lower Australian dollar, repatriation of offshore manufacturing facilities and construction of warehouse facilities to ensure adequate levels of stock are held as insurance for potential future disruptions to the global supply chain.”

The area’s biggest asset as an industrial market are its “proximity to Sydney; construction of the second airport in Western Sydney; expanding Port of Port Kembla; and state government investment in infrastructure, with more likely to follow as part of Commonwealth and state government stimulus measures.”

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