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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Australia commercial property deals on the rise

Australian commercial property transactions are climbing as the nation’s economic growth draws investors seeking income and capital growth, CB Richard Ellis Group Inc said.

About A$2.6 billion (US$2.5 billion) of properties changed hands in the third quarter, 75 per cent more than a year earlier, the world’s largest commercial real-estate broker said in an e- mailed statement today. Office properties accounted for about 70 per cent of the transactions, when on average they make up 50 per cent, it said.

“This type of stock is ready to sell, with a large number of new office buildings featuring long leases and attractive depreciation benefits available for incoming investors,” Kevin Stanley, executive director for global research and consulting at CBRE, said in the statement. Investors are drawn by the “bright prospects for income and capital growth in the office sector” driven by recent employment growth, he said.

Australian job growth exceeded forecasts in August, with employers adding 30,900 workers, sending the unemployment rate down to 5.1 percent, the lowest since January 2009.

While the gain in property transactions hasn’t pushed rents up yet, the increase in vacancy rates in major markets has slowed, Stanley said.

Industrial property deals accounted for 23 per cent of third-quarter sales, and retail for 7 per cent, CBRE said. Overseas investors purchased 42 per cent of the properties up for sale in the quarter and 36 per cent in the year to date, according to CBRE. On average they account for about 15 per cent.

By Bloomberg