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SG Melbourne a preferred property destination for Asians

Property Here - Monday, November 25, 2013

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Commercial property assets in Melbourne have been attracting Asia-based buyers, who snapped up 12 of 15 properties sold in the last 10 weeks by Savills.

The consultancy revealed that the most recent deal involved the record sale of a single retail shop in one of the most sought-after retail destinations in Australia.

254 Collins Street was sold to a China-based private investor for A$14.21 million (S$16.28 million). With a very tight yield of 4.42 percent, the three level freestanding 398 sq m building is leased to international clothing brand KOOKAI.

Earlier, 388 Lonsdale Street which houses the Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) was sold to a syndicate of buyers from mainland China for A$20.5 million (S$23.5 million). The sale was highly contested as the imminent vacancy of RMIT provided various repositioning/ value-add opportunities.

Other recent sales involving Asia-based buyers included Victoria University’s 300 Flinders Street campus to Hotel Grand Central of Singapore for AUS$48.5 million (S$55.57 million); the sale of 380 Lonsdale Street to Singapore-based Hiap Hoe for A$43.8 million (S$50 million) and the A$15 million (S$17.2 million) sale of 472 Bourke Street to a group of investors from China's Hubei province.

Clinton Baxter, who represented the vendors in all sales, noted: “The level of interest from Asia in the full range of Melbourne’s commercial assets has been exceptional, and appears to be a growing trend as more people from Asia seek out Australia as the preferred destination for a portion of their capital, or look to migrate.”

Melbourne is the preferred destination of many Asian investors due to its “vibrant CBD environment and rapidly growing population, transparent and relatively predictable planning processes, outstanding links into Asia via our strong education sector, and thriving local Asian communities”, said Baxter.