Global Power | Local Knowledge | Uniquely Personal

Australian shopping centre deals dominated by foreign investors

Foreign investment in Australian shopping centres is on the rise and now accounts for more than half of the total number of deals made. 

This is according to the findings of new data from commercial real estate group CBRE, which specified that offshore investment grew significantly in the second quarter of 2016. 

As such, it represented 51 per cent of all transactions for the period - and the group's latest Retail Marketview research report specified that strategic retail investments seem particularly attractive to foreign investment. 

Danny Lee, CBRE's senior research manager for Australia, said investment is now well over the levels seen in 2014 and 2015, when it made up a comparatively small 13 and 14 per cent of total transactions respectively. Mr Lee said this is a testament to ongoing confidence in this particular sector.

CBRE national director of retail investments Mark Wizel said foreign buyers have historically focused on core central business district (CBD) assets, but are increasingly venturing into other markets. 

"This is primarily due to the lack of available stock currently on the market in prime CBD locations, which is driving investors to target alternative assets, including regional, sub regional and neighbourhood shopping centres," he commented. 

Vicinity's $841m divestment of four centres over the past quarter is exemplary of this trend, as three of these centres were acquired by the Blackstone Group - an American investment firm. 

According to the CBRE report, there was also a significant uptick in investment across the broader retail sector, as retail property investment transactions increased significantly to $3.1 billion in the second quarter of 2016 - a significant increase on the first quarter's corresponding figure of $0.7 billion.

"Australian retail is being viewed as a relatively secure investment for offshore purchasers, underpinned by consistent growth in retail trade, with a 3.5 per cent increase in Q2," Mr Wizel remarked. 

DISCLAIMER: All information provided is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal financial circumstances or objectives. Before making a decision on the basis of this material, you need to consider, with or without the assistance of a financial adviser, whether the material is appropriate in light of your individual needs and circumstances. This information does not constitute a recommendation to invest in or take out any of the products or services provided by SMATS Services (Australia) Pty Ltd or Australasian Taxation Services Pty Ltd.

COPYRIGHT: All information provided is protected by international copyright laws. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, perform, modify, create derivative works, transmit, or in any way exploit any such content, nor may you distribute any part of this content over any network. Copying or storing any content is expressly prohibited without prior written permission of SMATS Group or the copyright holder identified in the individual content's copyright notice. For permission to use the content on please contact

Subscribe Now