Sydney’s Office Market Continuing to Perform Well

Australia’s office market continues to improve, with a number of high-profile international companies eyeing off areas of commercial and industrial real estate.
After being largely undamaged by the Global Financial Crisis, international investors continue to have a growing interest in Australian real estate investment trusts due to the stable economy, and high office occupancies and capital values.
Last December, South Korean National Bank’s purchase of the Aurora Place Office Tower for $658 million was one of the most substantial recent deals for commercial property in Sydney. Speaking at the Citi 2010 Australian Investment Conference in October, Charles Moore, fund manager for the Commonwealth Property Office Fund, Tino Tanfara, chief executive of ING Office Fund, and Paul Say, chief investment officer at Dexus Property Group, said there was evidence the Australian office market is still performing well.
Currently the average office vacancy in Sydney is about 7 per cent and new buildings along Castlereagh Street in the CBD are largely pre-committed. Landlords have also predicted effective Real Estate Personal Property Addendum rental growth next year as the need for rental incentives (such as free office fit-outs, car parking and rent-free period) decreases, and demand for office space increases.
Building new office space is also increasingly being used to fund further developments in Sydney’s suburbs. A new strategy to redevelop Redfern includes plans to build commercial office space, a gym, an underground car park and housing for university students. Mick Mundine, CEO of the Aboriginal Housing Company, says that money generated from this commercial office space will be used to maintain affordable housing in The Block.
Sydney commercial real estate is at the forefront of this increasing attention, and with speculation mounting that Westfield State Owned Houses For Sale may look to sell part or all of its two office towers on Pitt Street Mall, foreign investors are as keen as ever.

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