Local Wollongong retail property is struggling: HTW

Local Wollongong retail property is struggling: HTW
Local Wollongong retail property is struggling: HTW

Overall retail trading conditions remain challenging for many local traditional shop front businesses, particularly in the Wollongong CBD, according to the latest report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

The property valuation firm has seen a decline in foot traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated work from home directives still in place for numerous commercial office tenants.

Suburban retailers, particularly in the food and beverage sector, have seemingly benefited from the change in work patterns, reporting improved customer visits since the April lockdown, while many of the large national bulky goods retailers that have an online ordering system have been reporting strong sales figures.

Despite some serious initial concerns, retail leasing activity has not fallen off a cliff with many landlords still coming to terms with tenants albeit with higher incentives that typically include a rent free or rental discount period over the initial six to 12 month period of the lease term.

The report authors said, "It is our view though that the real test is still to come with many of the government programs and schemes to be wound back over the coming months."

"Sales activity remains at a low level with several sales occurring over the past six months in the sub $1 million range to owner-occupiers and only a couple of retail investment sales in the higher price range."

"Investors during these periods are typically seeking defensive assets with strong long term lease covenants with the market predicting a long period of low inflation," they concluded.

Retail Wollongong

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