Office Leasing the Stand-out Performer

OfficeTake-up
Office leasing activity picked up in most capital cities around Australia, over the past year. In some instances, quite significantly.

And with the supply side basically “on hold”, you should soon start to see this translate into some solid rental increases.
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September Growth Figures
Just a Pothole in the Road

Growth will continue.

Growth will continue.


Relax, it hasn’t all come to an end.

Sure, the Australian economy may have grown by only 0.2% in the September quarter. And retail sales might have actually fallen by 1.1% for October.

However, the overwhelming consensus is that this is merely an aberration.

And the underlying growth projections remain very favourable — with the full effect of the mining boom having resumed, due to be felt by mid-2011.
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Are Offices “The Go”?

Just take a look around your capital city CBD. And tell me, how many cranes to currently see on the skyline?

Sydney Skyline

Sydney Skyline

In most cities, you could count them on one hand — as there is minimal speculative development occurring right now.
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Why November?

Most people seemed taken by surprise, when the RBA chose to raise the cash rate to 4.75% on Cup Day this week.

However, with Oaks Day being held yesterday, I thought today would be better timing for this post.

Price Pressures

Price Pressures

Sure, the September quarter CPI had fallen to within the RBA’s target range. And yes, there is still some uncertainty overseas.

However, with industry facing capacity constraints and the mining boom heading towards previous levels … inflation is poised to accelerate during the December quarter, as wages start to rise.
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Space Shortage Looming?

Office Vacancy rates around Australia are falling — albeit faster in some capital cities, than others.

The chart below shows you where things currently stand.
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When Should You
Fix Your Interest Rate?

On Wednesday, I put up this post about whether or not to fix your interest rate, when purchasing a Commercial property. Only to find there was a problem with streaming of the Video.

Hopefully, that’s now been resolved; and so let’s try Take 2.

The simple answer to the question of timing is … when most Investors are not giving it much thought.

Like right now!

Anyway, here’s a short Video to explain my logic for saying this. Hopefully, it will give you a “helicopter view” of where things will head, over the next 5 years. [Read more…]

Can You Afford to Miss Out?

The other day, we took a look at Commercial property cycles, and where the various Australian CBD office markets might sit.

Currently, Melbourne seems to be “leading the pack”. But you might be interested to explore exactly why that is.

Melbourne Office Market

Melbourne Office Market


Some recent research by Jones Lang LaSalle indicates that Melbourne’s Office vacancy is likely to fall to around 5.4% by 2013.

Several pundits are suggesting it could be even lower.

h3. And the reason why?
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“Cycles Ain’t Cycles”

Overall, Australia has sailed through the Global Financial Crisis more or less unscathed. And from all accounts, Victoria and enjoys the standout economy of all the States.

h3. The Traditional Cycle Has Been Interrupted

Last week, you explored the traditional cycle for CBD Offices — being 18 years from peak to peak. And over that same period, Retail and Industrial properties tend to go through several cycles.

Commercial Property Cycles

However, given Australia’s privileged position within the global scene … my view is you are now at the upswing in the cycle for the Office market. In other words, you are already at the halfway point in the traditional Cycle.
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Commercial Property Cycles …

h2. How do you ever understand them?

Before talking to you about Commercial property, let’s take a quick look at Investment Cycles in general.

Investment CycleA recent AFR article contained this rather clever chart … showing an Investor’s mood at different points throughout the Cycle.

My reading would be that Australia is currently at the “Optimism” stage of the upturn — perhaps with some capital cities, a little more so than others. But generally, that’s about where most of us are at the moment.
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Some Gloom … Yet More Glee!

The US Federal Reserve is concerned that consumption is still being underpinned by government funding.

US Interest RatesAnd so, even though stimulus measures may be winding down … the Fed has decided to maintain interest rates at their historically low level.

It seems that households and businesses are preferring to repay debt, rather than spend to encourage investment and growth.

In Europe, there is still simply not enough trust between Banks to lend to one another. And that means credit is extremely tight. Right now, Central Banks are stepping in to lend to private banks, in an attempt to free up funds to boost economic activity.

China still remains the bright light with its growing demand for of the commodities Australia exports.

The IMF actually predicts that the Asian economy (which includes Australia) will be 50% larger within five years.

And it will then represent about a third of the world’s trading activity.

h2. The Implications for Commercial Property

Foreign BuyersAlready, major Asian sovereign wealth funds and property trusts are starting to target Office towers within Australian capital cities.

In fact, foreign buyers have invested around $1.7 billion during the past 12 months — representing about 70% of the purchase is made.

While this won’t directly affect the smaller private buyer … it will force everyone to move down a price bracket ought to — looking for better value.

Therefore, as yields quickly firm at the upper levels … this will soon have a ripple effect down through more modestly priced Commercial investment property.

Couple this with rising rentals, as the supply of Office space starts to fall around Australia … and now would be the perfect time to position yourself, ready for the next growth cycle.

“Things Can Change So Quickly”

Share of Trade

Share of Trade

Have you stopped to think just how things have changed over the past 25 years?

Just take a look at the global trade figures for the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain.

After the United States, China is now the world’s largest economy. However, it is currently the largest exporter; while being the second-largest importer.

Here’s a cunning question you might care to pose at your next dinner party.
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