Suburban retail precincts in Brisbane have become an attractive market for overseas buyers, particularly from North America, Europe, South Africa and Asia. Sub-regional outlets with strong anchor tenants are highly sought after, as are neighbourhood centres. This is keeping investor interest strong. With lower interest rates and an increased confidence with shoppers and retailers suburban shopping centres are also in high demand, along with properties that offer value-add expansion or refurbishment opportunities. There have been some substantial recent sales, and there are many areas that are being targeted by investors as hotspots for retail activity.
The suburbs of Capalaba, Mt Gravatt and Chermside are seeing increased demand for new retail space thanks to an increase in population growth and higher retail turnover. There are many new developments in these areas set for 2019, which will bring a solid influx of retail space to the market. The market tightening is causing the Fringe and CBD markets to become stagnant, and although inner-city populations grow at a solid pace, the future of the CBD market is up in the air.
In the CBD, the Queen Street Mall remains the most popular precinct for property, but also one of the most expensive in the country. Net rentals average between $2,700/m2 to $7,000/m2. High-end fashion, bars, cafes and restaurants continue to be the most sought-after properties for rental tenants, however there is tough competition due to the commencement of overseas retail giants H&M and Costco. With this and the Queens Wharf development comes fear that older city-based high-end retail institutions could fade if rent prices don’t become lower or incentives for competition increase.
Yields have been dependant on particular properties, however there are some large projects in the works, like Queen's Wharf, Brisbane Airport Redevelopment, Howard Smith Wharves, Brisbane Quarter and Brisbane Live that will present great retail opportunities in the future.