Newcastle retail property yields are at all time lows: HTW Retail

Newcastle retail property yields are at all time lows: HTW Retail
Staff reporterDecember 7, 2020

Newcastle retail activity has been defined by an unusual dichotomy where yields are at or near all-time lows, meaning values remain high, while the number of sales transactions has been very low compared to activity in peak market conditions from 2015 to 2018, according to the latest retail report from valuation firm Herron Todd White.

The property valuation firm found that some further discussion on the state of yields is required at this point. Well tenanted property with tenants that show strong trading history and long lease terms is still very strong and recent interest rate reductions by the Reserve Bank have helped underpin this strong market.

The report authors said, "we have seen, however, a (small) number of sales that indicate we have come back from peak market conditions, especially for those non-core retail properties that may reflect a higher degree of risk for the investor."

"Factors such as a secondary location, short lease expiry profile or partial vacancies were not being factored into yields during the market boom and the yield differential between core and non-core retail investment properties was not being adequately built into sale prices."

"We have seen a number of retail sales of such properties where yields have increased somewhat to reflect these risks. We see further adjustment required in this space, which is happening, albeit at a slow pace given the limited number of retail sales this year"

"We also anticipate this sales rate to increase somewhat in 2020 with a further easing of lending policy from major lenders. Now that the light rail has been up and running for some time, we see that a number of retailers on Hunter Street have suffered. Not only during the construction phase, but now with no parking available where the light rail runs along Hunter Street, many retailers have been forced to shut up shop or landlords are now in a position where they either accept lower rental returns or face extended letting up periods."

"We see these areas being converted from retail to office in coming years," they concluded.

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