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What to look out for in the property sector through 2016

By Greg Bell

Commercial property for sale on the Gold Coast is looking like it's going to be big news in 2016. On the back of the recent tourist spike, Australia has seen an increase in the cost of staying at a hotel overnight, for one thing. In Melbourne for example, according to STR Global, the average room price per night increased in December 2015 by almost 10 per cent to above $150.

Big players in the market present promise

The recent boom in tourism has led hoteliers to invest, or cash in on their opportunity. Hotels are not the only commodity hot on the market, however, as billionaire property developer Lang Walker is looking to move on his Collins Square project in Melbourne, which has an estimated value of $2.5billion. Mr Walker's company also has an office in Queensland, and according to its website, he has almost $2billion of property in the Sunshine State and "is now zeroing in on residential and industrial development". That can be good news for businesses looking at industrial leasing on the Gold Coast.

General manager of Queensland projects for Walker Corporation Peter Saba believes that "the fundamentals (in Queensland) are very strong".

Kevin Seymour of Seymour Group, another big player in the Queensland market, has also reportedly decided to offload a $300million portfolio in the state which includes the HSBC Tower.

With offshore investors circling to make inroads into the Australian market, and two impressive property sales starting the year positively, businesses looking to lease commercial property might soon find themselves in a great position with new players in the area.

FIRB stepping up their regime

The Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) ordered one of China's wealthiest men to sell an exclusive $39million Sydney home late in 2015 because it was purchased illegally; the FIRB was not informed of the sale. Then-treasurer Joe Hockey ordered the sale, along with another in Sydney, one in Adelaide, one in Perth and two in Queensland according to the Australian Financial Review (AFR).

On 1 December 2015, recently appointed treasurer Scott Morrison announced that the FIRB would be harsher on illegally purchased Australian properties.

"It is important that foreign investment is appropriately monitored to ensure that it benefits all Australians", said Mr Morrison, ensuring citizens that the foreign investment boom of recent years would not negatively impact them in any way.

In a fact sheet released by the Australian government, the stock of foreign investment at the end of 2014 had more than doubled to $2.8trillion over the last decade. With foreign investment comes new employment and a stronger economy for the whole country.

The reinvigorated FIRB will provide confidence to Australians about foreign investors, and that coupled with the sales of Mr Walker and Mr Seymour, could provide a big boost to the commercial property market in 2016.

What it all means

Office leasing on the Gold Coast could become much more prominent as well, with developers selling assets and finding themselves with capital, plus the Gold Coast is hosting the 2018 Commonwealth Games and developers alongside investors will be looking to get a firm hold on the market before that starts. The imminent major sporting event is also going to be good news for businesses looking at retail leasing in Surfers Paradise, for example, which will be an attractive tourist location both before and after the Games, but the region is developing steadily as well.

In order for your company to make the most out of these opportunities, talk to Ray White Surfers Paradise today to find out how it can help you lease commercial property. With 23 office locations and a team of 250 people, Ray White Surfers Paradise is your go-to to take advantage of the property developments happening in 2016.

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