Australian industrial property in hot demand amidst changing conditions

Colliers International releases new Industrial Research & Forecast Report

Investor demand in the Australian industrial sector remains buoyant and diverse on the back of strong market fundamentals and significant infrastructure investment across the country.

According to Colliers International’s latest Industrial Research & Forecast Report, the strong flow of capital into the Australian industrial sector now stems from a diverse range of investor types including local privates, property syndicates, institutional investors and offshore buyers. 

“Against the backdrop of the strong fundamentals in the industrial property market, investor demand has remained particularly buoyant,” Malcom Tyson, Colliers International Managing Director of Industrial, said. 

“This strong demand, however, is being restrained by the lack of stock being available, particularly the lack of portfolio opportunities. As a result, yields have continued to compress across the board over the past 12 months. 

“We expect to see the polarisation of yields between capital cities to be more prominent with the East Coast markets of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane seeing stronger capital appreciation than Perth and Adelaide.”

Mr Tyson said continued demand for industrial space was further supported by a massive investment program in infrastructure across the country. Public infrastructure spending has increased by 4.6% over the year to June 2018.

“More importantly, investment in transportation projects has surged substantially over the past few years and expected to accelerate over the next five years with the amount of work to be done remains enormous,” he said. 

“Improvements in infrastructure are expected to have tremendous spillover benefits to the industrial property sector both directly through improved transport efficiency and productivity for industrial tenants and indirectly through elevated demand from a broader base of  business services as well as valuation uplifts for industrial land surrounding the upgraded networks.”

Monica Velez, Colliers International National Director of Logistics & Supply Chain, said supply chain optimisation had become a critical competitive advantage for many industrial users and operators.
as the Australian economy continued to navigate though a “triple low environment” of low growth, low
interest rates and low inflation.

“Australian businesses are increasingly focusing on improving their operational efficiency to improve the bottom line,” Ms Velez said. “The most common scenarios that trigger a company to re-assess their network model are Mergers and Acquisitions, restructuring to shift focus onto a business unit or product brand, entering into a new market, diversification or pure realisation.

“The positive effects of investing in the consolidation or reduction of nodes in a supply chain, often result in a significant decline in operating costs, sometimes ranging from 10 to 30 per cent of the impacted budget.”

“Storage costs efficiencies are found in property costs when the consolidated warehouses are designed to better utilise the ‘site air’ by considering alternative storage solutions and pallet handling systems that achieve greater per square meter or cubic density.

“As a consequence of soaring land values, land taxes – which will be passed to occupiers as outgoings – are expected to rise substantially over the coming years. The average industrial land value across Sydney has increased by 17.5% over the past year with some regions rising by more than 50%. 

“Rising transport costs are another key concern for industrial operators in Australia. Warehouse consolidations can lead to the reduction of distribution or transport costs, which can account for almost half of the overall cost.”

Mr Tyson said a recurring theme across the globe and in Australia was the speed of advancement in technology and how the ‘4.0 Industrial Revolution’ was not only shifting the paradigms in the industrial market but also creating tremendous opportunities for occupiers, owners and investors alike. 

“For industrial users, emerging technologies in automation, robotics, autonomous vehicles, big data and artificial intelligence are helping businesses to scale up more quickly and maintain competitive advantages through more efficient distribution networks and strategic space planning, which in turn minimise labour efficiency drains and optimise productivity,” he said.

“These new technologies are being enabled by the emergence of the next generation of technologically advanced industrial developments that incorporate innovative designs and high-tech offerings.

“Advances in building and construction technologies are also benefiting property owners in multiple ways. Industrial buildings can be constructed quicker and cheaper, which is offsetting against the rising land costs. 

“Requirements are no longer confined to traditional “blue-collar” manufacturing industries, but have become highly diversified and include e-Commerce, data centres, food and beverage retailers, dark kitchens, construction companies, furniture showrooms, health care facilities, science and
technological services and hi-tech logistics and fleet management.

“In fact, many of the biggest occupiers of industrial space today have only been in existence after the last GFC, highlighting the extraordinary speed of disruption that is occurring and exciting times ahead for the industry.”

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Malcom Tyson

Managing Director | Industrial

Sydney CBD

Malcom joined Colliers International in 1994 in the North Sydney office as an industrial sales and leasing agent. Colliers International is known in the market for their progressive, collaborative and innovative culture, and he was very determined to join their team. Now as a leader in the business, he facilitates that collaboration across our service lines both domestically and internationally to achieve our goals. Over his 26 years at Colliers, Malcom has developed and grown multiple teams; his current role is Managing Director of Industrial where he heads up the largest and most specialised industrial division in Australia.

In 2005, Malcom joined the ANZ Executive where the leadership group has steered Colliers International to reach incredible growth and further developed our brand and client offering. Malcom became the NSW State Chief Executive in 2006, and leads the 730+ staff in the NSW team across six offices and dozens of on-site management teams. Our NSW business is the Centre of Excellence for the broader Australia and New Zealand teams, and our team leads the business in innovation and best practice.

Malcom's speciality is the sales and leasing of institutional-grade industrial property, and he works to provide his clients with insights into the future of industrial property and where they can reap the most value. Having sold over $6bn+ of property over my career,  Malcom gets a great deal of satisfaction being a trusted advisor and expert for his clients.

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Monica Velez

National Director | Logistics & Supply Chain Consultancy | Occupier Services

Sydney West

Based in Sydney with more than 11 years’ experience in the Logistics and Supply Chain arena, Monica previously worked in Transformation and Project Management, Logistics Engineering, Business Analysis and Operations Optimisation. She developed long term logistics network strategies for large supply chain operational hubs, served as a key advisor and participated of major commercial negotiations with 3PL supplier leading to major changes in logistics models.

Monica has experience in project development and stakeholder engagement during warehousing and transport solution design along with optimisation of projects for a wide range of industry models, including FMCG, automotive, industrial, tyres and 3PL. She has designed, costed and priced multiple warehousing and transport solutions developing high accuracy cost and resource models, business cases and major investment appraisals for automation, contract logistics, warehouse consolidation and operational optimisation initiatives of different sizes. Having completed a Master Degree in Engineering with emphasis in Logistics Management and a certification in Prince2® Project Management. Monica has huge interest in digital supply chain solutions where she has developed proof of concept initiatives.

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Laura Phillips

Associate Director | PR & Communications

Melbourne CBD

Part of the Australian media landscape for 10 years, with a background in newspaper and magazine journalism, including property reporting. 

Fostering strong relationships with property and business journalists and editors across national, state and local media, from newspapers and online publications to television and radio.

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