Investors seek safe retail property

TWO retail properties at Nambour have been sold for a sale price in excess of $54.5 million.

The Nambour Plaza and Nambour Central properties were purchased by a private syndicate created by Adelaide-based Perks Property Investments Pty Ltd. Both properties were acquired from Macquarie CountryWide Trust, with the sale negotiated by Rino Carpinelli, Savills South Australia managing director.

The Nambour Plaza shopping centre, located at Ann Street, features a net lettable area of 11,282sq m. Its anchor tenants are Woolworths and Big W, complemented by about 40 specialty shops and under-croft parking for almost 600 cars.

The nearby Nambour Central mall, located across the road in Lowe Street, has a net lettable area of 2430sq m, is anchored by an IGA Supermarket and also features 10 specialty shops and 75 car parks.

Mr Carpinelli said the Nambour properties were strategic long-term investments for the syndicate from Perks Property Investments, which manages a portfolio of retail properties in Queensland and South Australia.

Mr Carpinelli said Nambour Plaza and Nambour Central were both well-located and well-leased retail properties servicing the fast-growing Nambour region, which is rapidly emerging as an affordable housing hotspot. He said the sale of the properties highlighted the growing dominance of private investors in retail property transactions throughout Australia.

“Private investors are actively seeking strategic retail opportunities, particularly well-performing, well-leased centres in high-growth locations,” he said.

“These assets are very attractive to private investors, who haven't been able to get a look in to such quality retail properties for a number of years, but opportunities are now emerging for them in the current market.”

Perks Property Investments also purchased (as a joint venture with the Cohen Group) the Seaford Shopping Centre in Adelaide last year for approximately $72 million from Macquarie Countrywide Trust, also negotiated by Rino Carpinelli at Savills.

The retail sector is forecast to lead property transactions in 2009 with private investors dominating purchasing activity, according to Savills' latest National Retail Property Market Overview.

The report highlights the underlying strengths of retail property in the current market and the re-emergence of private investor interest in the sector.

“In times of economic uncertainty, retail property is widely regarded as a defensive investment due to the large percentage of non-discretionary spending supporting income streams,” the Savills report says.

“Enclosed centres and shops are increasingly taking the interest of private investors. Local market conditions have also caught the attention of international investors, as good quality, tightly-held assets are becoming available.”

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