Rockhampton retail market to continue as is while demand for tenants in Mackay rises: HTW

Rockhampton retail market to continue as is while demand for tenants in Mackay rises: HTW
Rockhampton retail market to continue as is while demand for tenants in Mackay rises: HTW

Rockhampton’s retail market is expected to continue in line with activity seen throughout 2016, according to a recent report by property valuation firm Herron Todd White report.

“While we anticipate that general real estate markets may improve in 2017, there is likely to be continued downward pressure on retail rentals and a strong presence of incentives given the current high vacancies in this sector in Rockhampton,” the report said.

In spite of this, well anchored centres with good access and exposure are anticipated to hold their rental values.

"Whilst the independent local retailers appear to be bearing the brunt of local economic conditions, we are aware that major retailers and supermarket chains continue to search for key sites in Rockhampton for possible expansion, which provides a more positive outlook for 2017," the report said.

Investors are actively looking for retail properties, but are sensitive to tenant strength and unexpired lease term/WALE of properties.

Evidence of this sensitivity has been seen recently on a neighbourhood retail centre which was under contract on a circa 10% yield, said HTW.

"This contract has subsequently fallen over due to a tenant not exercising an option," the report stated.

"Demand for speciality retail tenancies in neighbourhood shopping centres in Mackay is moderate and vacancy rates have increased. This has been caused by the local economic downturn."

Local sitting tenants in neighbourhood shopping centres have negotiated nominal rental reductions on market review.

“We are not aware of any new leases in these centres in Mackay over the past year. There is a risk that market rentals could ease as landlords lose their tolerance for vacancies,” the report cautioned.

HTW pointed out that a notable retail sale was the IGA West Mackay complex in December 2016 at $9.25 million to show an analysed market net yield of approximately 7% after allowance for the value of a vacant site included in the transaction.

The complex was completed in 2013 and is anchored by IGA (Metcash) with other tenants including BWS (Woolworths) and Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology (Sonic Health Care).

It sold with a very long WALE of 14.76 years which was strongly influenced by the IGA lease which expires in 2033.

"The sale is consistent with national demand for good quality lease covenants particularly to non-discretionary (supermarket) retailers," it said.

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