Australia Commercial Property Sales Jump Fourfold, CBRE Says

Australian commercial property sales in the second quarter soared by more than four times the value of transactions in the previous three months, when natural disasters dampened activity, real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. said.

Commercial property investments jumped to A$2.7 billion ($2.85 billion) in the second quarter, compared with A$638 million in the three months ended March 31, CBRE said in an e-mailed report based on preliminary data. The value of sales was 14 percent above the long-term quarterly average, it said.

“Floods and cyclones in Queensland, the Japanese and New Zealand earthquakes and general global uncertainty all conspired to create a very slow start to the investment year in 2011,” CBRE’s Sydney-based Executive Director Kevin Stanley said in the statement. “However, many of the mid-to-major sized transactions in the pipeline since late 2010 have now finally reached conclusion, which contributed to the significant spike in sales activity.”

While consumer spending has slowed over the past few months, investors remain convinced retail property will remain a “strong and stable investment asset class” in the long term, he said.

Office property transactions accounted for 52 percent of the sales, retail for 40 percent and industrial for the rest, Los Angeles-based CBRE said. Overseas investors bought 37 percent of the properties sold, compared with an average of 10 percent to 15 percent, the company said.

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