Foreigners net one-third of commercial property deals in first half of 2017: CBRE

Foreigners net one-third of commercial property deals in first half of 2017: CBRE
Foreigners net one-third of commercial property deals in first half of 2017: CBRE

One-third of commercial property deals in the first half of 2017 involved offshore money, according to latest figures from commercial real estate firm CBRE.

However, there was a decline in the volume of transactions as prices increase, prompting a standstill between owners and would-be buyers.

Australia was the top destination for cross-border capital in CBRE's latest survey on investor intentions.

Commercial property deals – across the hotel, office, industrial and retail property sectors – were at $10.8 billion in the first half of the year, compared to a year earlier when total sales were $15.6 billion. 

"Foreign investment still accounted for approximately one-third of all activity in Australia's commercial property sector, with demand for assets remaining strong given the higher yields and strong fundamentals demonstrated by the Sydney and Melbourne markets," CBRE research chief Stephen McNabb was quoted as saying by The Australian Financial Review.

About $2 billion Asian capital was directly invested into the local commercial real estate market in the first half, CBRE figures showed, a fall of 25 per cent from a year earlier.

But it fell less slowly than the overall drop, with transaction volumes down by 37 per cent.

The fall in investment activity was due to a lack of available stock rather than a decline in buyer interest, said McNabb.

Outlining the preference for Australian assets, he said in April a Hong Kong investor bought the Australian Securities Exchange headquarters at 20 Bridge Street in Sydney for a record yield – below 4.5 per cent – for more than $330 million

In June, Singapore's Keppel REIT outlaid $348 million to take a half stake in a new police headquarters in the Melbourne CBD.

He said Asian appetite was holding up into the second half as well, with Mirvac selling a half stake in a landmark Collins Street office development in Melbourne to Singapore's Suntec REIT for $414 million.

"At this stage of the yield cycle, which is nearing its peak in Australia's major markets, and with a reasonable immediate outlook for rent growth, there isn't a compelling reason to sell assets," McNabb said.

"From an investment perspective, assets remain eagerly sought after and this is evident in further yield compression across all assets classes nationally in the first half of 2017."

Around $US45.2 billion of Asian outbound capital was directly invested into global property in the first six months of 2017, up 98.4 per cent on the $US22.8 billion in the first half of 2016.

However, a slowdown in Chinese investment offshore is expected as the government there restricts the flow of outbound capital.






Commercial Property Foreign Investment

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