Cairns office market subdued and stable: HTW Commercial

Cairns office market subdued and stable: HTW Commercial
Staff reporterDecember 7, 2020

The Cairns office market is relatively shallow and experiences limited sales activity, according to the latest report from property valuation firm Herron Todd White.

They found, the market has also experienced limited new development, with the last very large office building constructed in Cairns being the state government office tower completed in 2010.

The level of general commercial property sales in Cairns, inclusive of retail and commercial office premises, highlights that activity in the Cairns commercial market remains well below the levels achieved in the 2003 to 2007 period.

Sales volumes have been gradually rebuilding over the past nine years, but are still only averaging around 90 to 100 sales per annum.

The report authors said, "median prices paid specifically for strata titled premises have increased mildly over the past seven years, but our general impression is that prices per square metre of floor area are mostly stable within the $2,500 to $4,500 range."

"Most new office space leasing demand is for smaller areas and for modern, good quality green star rated premises, however there is only a handful of such buildings in Cairns. These buildings achieve high levels of occupancy and are experiencing stable rent levels typically of $350 to $450 per square metre per annum."

"Demand for lesser quality space remains limited and there is a large oversupply of good quality non-inner CBD and well exposed secondary space in the $200 to $300 per square metre per annum rental range. These conditions have placed downward pressure on secondary rents and have seen the emergence of incentives."

"The most recent sale of a large office building was the design and construct of the new Ergon premises in Bunda Street, Cairns City."

"The property sold for $14.7 million in May 2019 providing an analysed yield of 6.4%. The building comprised two levels of high quality office with a total area of 2,400 square meters, 68 car parks and an initial ten year lease term," they said.

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