Foreign investors make up lion's share of CBD property

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Foreign investors make up more than two thirds of Australian CBD commercial real estate, a new survey has revealed.

According to research from commercial and industrial real estate network, Savills Australia, investors splashed out nearly $18 billion on Australian office property – both CBD and metropolitan – ¬¬¬ in the 12 months to June. Foreign investors in particular were behind a 48% share overall, and a massive 68% share in CBDs.

The $17.9 billion total – comprising $9.8 billion worth of CBD office transactions and $8.1 billion worth of Non-CBD – was up almost 35% on the five year average.

Sydney had the most transactions by value at $4.6 billion, or 47% of CBD office sales nationally, while Melbourne had the greatest number of transactions, with 28 commercial transactions.

According to Savills national head of research, Tony Crabb, this was the seventh consecutive year that Australian office sales had seen year on year increases, with the exception of 2012.

“This has been an extraordinary run which is unprecedented locally and there is no reason to believe we won't see the upward trend continue given the current global economic and political status quo,” Crabb said.

Whilst foreign investors made up the lion’s share of CBD transactions, Crabb said off-shore buyers also figured prominently in Non-CBD sales, purchasing 25% of the stock sold for $1.9 billion.

Savills director of cross border investments & capital transactions, Ben Azar, said Australia would continue to see massive foreign investment.

“In an extremely low interest rate environment with global capital starved for yield, Australia is seen as a transparent secure market with some of the highest yields in the world. Sydney and Melbourne, especially, are seen as global gateway cities offering very good lease terms and strong covenants,” Azar said.

“As long as Australia's economic and political environment remains stable, any turbulence in the US, UK and Europe will mean more offshore capital will be attracted to Australia because of its safe haven status, transparent market practices and growth potential.”

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