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[Office Love Affair]Foreign investors pile into prime office towers

  Across the country 37 per cent of the office assets sold were bought by international investors.

  Sydney held the most appeal with 45 per cent of office stock sold in the first half acquired by foreign buyers.

  Most active in Sydney were Singaporean groups, which invested $515 million, followed by Canadian investors, who spent $400 million.

  Head of capital markets in NSW at JLL, Luke Billiau, said many foreign investors are still underweight Australian assets, which will ensure the strong demand continues.

  Mr Billiau said a recent JLL survey of global investors showed Australia “remains the only country in Asia-Pacific with real estate allocations below target – 4 per cent against a target of 11.5 per cent.”

  He said investors are looking for buildings featuring long weighted average lease expiry or assets with leasing or development upside.

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  In Sydney, Mr Billiau said, the lack of quality CBD stock has led many investors to look into alternative markets such as Macquarie Park, where Singaporeans have been particularly active.

  In other sectors, industrial was the standout performer in the year to June 30 with national asset sales of $8.3 billion. Meanwhile, $3.2 billion in retail assets were sold.

  JLL’s head of capital markets Australia, Fergal Harris, said: “National commercial transaction activity is tracking well ahead of 2020 levels at the half-year mark with preliminary figures at $16.56 billion.

  “This compares to full-year sales last year of $20.2 billion.”