Confidence remains high for retail owners across Australia

By Greg Bell

With the rising economy and future of the nation's growth looking bright, it's no wonder that retail owners are beginning to feel optimistic about the coming years. The latest Retail Centre Managers' Survey released by JLL has highlighted these market movements over August, finding that the overall national sentiment has increased to 56 per cent for centre managers expecting some degree of turnover growth in the coming 12 months – up from just 51 per cent in February. 

This could be fantastic news for those interested in purchasing commercial property in Surfers Paradise in the future, especially with the expected economic growth expected to take place across this area as the region continues to develop. The survey covers 99 shopping centres across Australia in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the sentiments underlying the commercial market of the nation. 

Strengthening tenant enquiries nationwide

Another factor that showed improvement according to survey results was the degree of tenant enquiry for retail property. According to the report, this result is one of the best to be recorded over the history of the 11 surveys conducted, with the net balance of recording a result of 2 per cent. The net balance is the difference between the percentage of  positive responses (strong enquiries) and the negative responses (weaker enquiries). 

The generally upward trend in this figure illustrates that more people are considering renting out commercial and retail property across the nation than previously, which could offer a number of opportunities for anyone interested in purchasing investment Surfers Paradise commercial property in the future. With the viability of securing an occupant increasing – for the first time since December 2012 – this could be a brilliant telltale sign of a strengthening market nationwide.

Tightening vacancy rates nationwide

The vacancy rates for retail property across the nation also saw some movement. For example, sub-regional centres saw vacancy rates increase slightly from December 2013 through to June 2014 – increasing from 2.4 per cent up to 2.5 per cent. On the other hand, neighbourhood centre vacancy figures decreased from 5.6 per cent in December 2013 down to 5.1 per cent. Since these surveys first commenced, the general range for vacancy rates rests between 4 and 6 per cent – highlighting the sustained need for retail and commercial property across the nation.

One thing that retail managers have noticed is an increase in popularity for short term leases – like the kind needed for pop up stores – which are increasingly being used for people to test the viability of their venture before committing to a more permanent, long-term agreement. 

This could affect the way you approach your own commercial property purchasing. Take these changes into account when purchasing property – especially if you're looking into securing property in a populated shopping centre in Surfers Paradise. These spaces are perfect for pop up stores, given the high level of foot traffic that passes through these developments on a daily basis. 

Anticipated rental growth

Furthermore, rental growth expectations for retail properties across Australia have stabilised over the last few months, with 37 per cent of respondents expecting a degree of rental growth over the next 12 months. Although 22 per cent expected their rents to fall over the same period, this was the lowest negative response recorded since the first survey was undertaken back in November 2011. 

With expected population booms heading towards the nation, now could be a great time to consider investing in commercial real estate in Surfers Paradise. As the economy continues to rise, getting into the retail market ahead of these projected jumps could be a great way to take advantage of the strengthening market over the coming years. 

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