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Where to next for Australian commercial property?

Some things are best left to the experts. Read on for our round-up of essential reading to understand where Australian commercial property is headed next.

The property fever that has gripped the nation has held us spellbound and wondering where the break will fall. Here we took a closer look at the state of the Australian commercial property market and what it means for design. We also explored the growing importance of interdisciplinary communication and collaboration and considered the lessons that commercial property stands to learn from commercial design. Through this lens, we’ve made the case that a new ecosystem for Australian development is emerging.

This new ecosystem is characterised by openness and radical symbiosis, both of which enable all stakeholders to truly work together for the first time to achieve a common goal: innovation. The boundaries between the built environment disciplines – design, construction, and property and facilities management – are blurring, and the divide between each of these industries and the client and end user is more narrow than ever. This major shift is many things: it’s fascinating, it’s fresh, and perhaps most crucially, it’s driving all the disciplines to new heights. Innovation in design is peaking as property values continue to skyrocket, and the construction and facilities management industries have moved rapidly to adapt.

This 29-30 August, FRONT will strengthen these new ties between Australia’s built environment professionals and help to break down the interdisciplinary divide. For two days, Sydney’s Carriageworks will become the number one destination for professionals wishing to broaden their horizons and deepen their understanding of today’s commercial and hospitality sectors. Following a jam-packed program of meetings, networking opportunities, and seminars, attendees will have all the knowledge, skills, and connections they need to get in front of tomorrow’s commercial industry.

In keeping with the future-facing focus of FRONT, below we’ve curated four pieces of essential reading that you need to understand where Australian commercial property is headed. Read on to see the experts’ predictions of what’s next for one of the country’s most dynamic sectors.

Key property drivers shaping Australia’s economic growth

Read: “Economic Property Drivers, December 2018” Savills

The Australian economy grew at a rate of 2.76 per cent as a QoQ annual growth rate (corresponding to a rate of 2.82 per cent on a rolling annual basis) in the 12 months to September 2018. Total returns for the office, industrial and retail sectors were reported at 14.4%, 11.6% and 7.5% (respectively) over the year to September 2018 nationally.

Jobs growth is stimulating investment opportunities

Read: “Commercial property predictions for 2019”, RealCommercial

As REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee writes for RealCommercial, vacancy rates in many office markets are now at 10-year lows and are starting to come down in cities such as Perth and Brisbane, where they have traditionally been higher. This reduction in vacancy rates is flowing through to rental growth which is good news for building owners and investors.

In the industrial sector, the shifting landscape in retail has been a positive, with growing demand for industrial property. With jobs growth expected to continue in 2019, there will be continued good news for owners of office and industrial property.

Office values are on the rise

Read: “Office values set to rise further as investment passes $20billion for first time”, Colliers International

According to Colliers International’s new Capital Markets Office Investment Review, more than $21.9billion worth of office assets changed hands nation-wide in 2018. It marks the first time that sales volumes have breached the $20 billion mark and the fifth year running that sale volumes have been higher than $15 billion. It is a 15 per cent increase on 2017 investment levels and an 84 per cent increase on the 10-year average.

What are the implications of developers going end-to-end?

Read: “How These Developers Are Navigating Market Headwinds”, The Urban Developer

Brisbane’s property developers are strategically adapting to the current residential climate, controlling entire projects from end-to-end, retaining management rights and pushing for boutique projects they would be “proud to walk their families past in 20 years time”. Developers finding success in the current climate revealed that moving away from large construction projects towards more specialised boutique offerings had enabled them to retain more control and in doing so “exceed buyers expectations” such that finished projects “feel like five-star hotels”.


FRONT connects every link in the design chain bringing you face-to-face with key decision makers in architecture and design, business end-users, property, and real-estate. To hear more from the experts driving Australia’s commercial sectors, register for FRONT today.

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