Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills

Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills
Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills

The calendar year 2016 marked another year of strong performance in property investment markets, according to Savills’ latest report.

In Australia, Savills recorded approximately $27 billion worth of commercial property transactions in the
 12 months to December 2016, down from $33.74 billion
in the previous year, but much the same as the five year average ($25.6 billion).

A lack of portfolios and a diminishing supply of prime properties for sale continues to weigh on investment volumes.

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Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills

Foreign investors were the most active in the investment market in 2016, purchasing 40 percent of stock reported sold or approximately $10.7 billion.

Professional investors, represented by Trusts, Funds and Syndicates, purchased a total of $8.75 billion of commercial property.

Both buyer groups remain keenly interested with ongoing appetite for commercial property investment.

A slowdown in resource demand from China, a reversal of commodity prices and the end of the mining investment boom (coupled with the GFC) saw interest rates in Australia fall to historic lows.

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Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills

A subsequent pickup in occupier and investment demand in Melbourne and Sydney followed whilst there was a substantial reversal in fortunes in Brisbane and Perth. Whilst Brisbane has stabilised,

Perth continues to be challenged (more office supply is
in the pipeline), Melbourne is meeting both occupier and investment demand with a supply response whilst Sydney remains challenged on the supply front.

An added difficulty in both Melbourne and Sydney is the continual withdrawal of office space and development sites (both in CBD and non-CBD office markets) for conversion to residential or compulsory acquisition for public works.

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Strong performance in the Australian 2016 commercial property market: Savills

Capital markets exhibited greater degrees of volatility throughout 2016 and have finished the year stronger with the ASX200 rising 9 percent over the last six months, the Australian dollar ended up largely unchanged against the US dollar and 10 year bonds yields softened by 90 basis points to approximately 2.9%.

Commercial property investment yields continued
to firm across the board (by an average 20 basis points) – a theme we have been writing about for several years now.

Whilst the “bond yield” story has run its course, in some markets, fundamentals are improving rapidly.

“We believe this improvement will lead to further tightening in yields as investment capital starts to price in expectations of future NOI growth. This part of the yield cycle is just beginning,” the report stated.

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Savills Australia

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