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NZ Retail sites attract heavy bidding

Property Here - Saturday, March 16, 2013

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Strong competition for retail investment property was a feature of Bayleys Real Estate's first commercial and industrial portfolio auction of the year.

Three of the seven properties that sold at a Greater Auckland auction were at yields of 5.9 per cent to 6 per cent, with three others selling at yields of 7.6 per cent or less.

"The market has picked up where it left off in 2012, with the demand for well-located retail property significantly outstripping a limited supply of offerings for sale," says Chris Bayley, Bayleys' national director commercial and industrial.

The highest price was for a 340sq m single-level retail building on a 377sq m site at 2-6 Todd Plaza, in central New Lynn, which sold before auction for $1,250,000 at a 6 per cent yield through John Jefferson of Bayleys Auckland and Tony Chaudhary of Bayleys Manukau.

The premises are occupied by a mini mart, the Mekong Neua Thai restaurant and long-established West Auckland real estate agency Glovers.

Todd Plaza is a cul-de-sac linked to main arterials Great North Rd and Totara Ave and is in a location fast becoming the heart of New Lynn with the Merchant Quarter development transforming the area, says Jefferson.

The property drew many offers before auction and was bought by a development company, he says.

"A combination of short-term leases, the potential to go up a floor and proximity to the Lynn Mall shopping centre meant the buyer was prepared to pay a premium to secure the property, although the rentals are somewhat below market."

Two other properties sold for over $1 million. A 297sq m retail outlet in the recently developed Merton East Convenience Centre in St Johns attracted strong competition before selling for $1,130,000 at a 6.9 per cent yield through James Chan of Bayleys Auckland. It has a nine-year lease to V's Vege Shop from November 2012, with three-yearly stepped rental increases until 2021.

Reinforcing that there is still demand for older, character buildings, the most heavily bid property of the day was a 342sq m recently refurbished masonry building, on a 101sq m site at 166 Karangahape Rd in central Auckland. It attracted 26 bids before selling for $1,050,000 at a 7.6 per cent yield through Nicolas Ching and Quinn Ngo, Bayleys Auckland.

An Esquires coffee outlet is the anchor street-level tenant with an internet cafe occupying the upper floors. They are on 10- and five-year leases respectively from mid 2010.

The lowest yield was achieved on a 50sq m cafe trading as L'Espresso Cafe in the Eden Quarter shops in Dominion Rd which sold under the hammer for $560,000 at a 5.9 per cent yield, on its current net annual rental income of $33,287, through Tony Chaudhary and Janak Darji of Bayleys Manukau and Nicolas Ching of Bayleys Auckland.

Chaudhary says the tenant has occupied the site for more than 12 years and before the auction signed a new five-year lease from November, 2013 at an increased rental of $39,000 per annum.

In Otahuhu a two-level landmark building that was childhood home of former Prime Minister David Lange on a 976sq m high-profile corner site sold before auction for $653,000 at 7.2 per cent yield through Mark and Rachael Pittaway of Bayleys Auckland and Tony Chaudhary of Bayleys Manukau.

The property, at 2 Piki Thomson Way, was built for David Lange's father, Roy, who also ran his medical practice from the home. It was converted to commercial use after the Langes sold it and the current tenant, Moneyshop Group, has been in occupation for over 20 years with its current lease expiring in March 2016.

A 680sq m food-grade industrial unit 53A Greenmount Drive, East Tamaki sold for $700,000 through James Hill, James Valintine, Bayleys Auckland soon after auction at a 9 per cent yield. It has a three-year lease, with a three-month break clause.

A 74sq m office unit on the third level of a renovated character building at 130-138 St Georges Bay Road, Parnell, with one basement car park on a separate unit title, sold for $250,000 at a 6 per cent yield through Rachael and Mark Pittaway, Bayleys Auckland.

It has a two-year lease to Stormwater Solutions Consulting, which expires in August this year.

Bayleys is now sourcing properties for its next Greater Auckland portfolio, which will be released to the market on April 12.