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ANZ Capital Markets Outlook 2021

The Colliers Capital Markets 2021 outlook shows that the forward projection for Australian commercial investment remains positive, despite current economic slowdown.

Australian transaction volumes are down 58% compared to the previous year, with $10.96 billion trading over the first three quarters of 2020. The office and retail sectors have felt the largest impact, down 75% and 29% respectively from 2019 levels at the same point.

All states have recorded a fall in transaction volumes; QLD (-67 per cent), NSW (-66 per cent), WA (-38 per cent), VIC (-29 per cent) and SA (-7 per cent). Capital inflow from offshore investors is buoyant, representing 32% of deal volumes so far in 2020.

John Marasco, Managing Director, Capital Markets at Colliers said, “So far in the first half of 2020, the assets that have traded have shown minimal movement on yield metrics, reflecting significant pent-up capital seeking placement and the lack of stock available for sale, which bodes well for the sector”.

“We are seeing the flight to quality thematic is beginning to play out as investors chase strong covenanted assets with long WALEs.”

“Most of the major domestic institutional investors are well capitalised with several undertaking capital raisings to shore up their balance sheets; as gearing is much lower than during the GFC, these investors have the ability to ride through the initial pandemic period.”


The Colliers Capital Market Outlook has found that office fundamentals remain strong, despite the events of 2020 changing how, where and when we work. After a record year in 2019, with $25.0 billion of sales in both metro and CBD office markets, total sales volumes are 75% down from the same period in 2019, with sales to Q3 2020 at $4.3 billon, with CBD markets accounting for $458 million.

Adam Woodward, Head of Office Capital Markets said, “Despite the limited transactions year to date, the outlook for the office markets remains a positive one.”

“Nationally, Colliers has been appointed to sell over $2bn of office assets, highlighting the confidence returning to the sector.”

“There has been much discussion about the underlying fundamentals of the office market shifting; however, while there is likely to be much more flexibility in the workplace, recent survey results have shown over 85% of office workers do not want to permanently give up their desk. This will be key to underpin long term occupancy in the office markets.”

“Moving forward, we expect that the office asset class will continue to attract strong demand, with the fundamentals of the Australian market providing extremely attractive opportunities to offshore groups within the region; we expect that this flow of capital is likely to continue through into 2021.”


The Capital Markets Outlook found that the retail sector has seen one of the largest impacts during the COVID-19 pandemic, however there are signs that a recovery in household consumption is on the horizon.

Spending patterns have been significantly disrupted with some categories such as travel, which last year accounted for $110 billion of expenditure, being redirected to retail and household savings in 2020.

Coupled with Federal Government stimulus and early superannuation withdrawals, Australian households have contributed over $70 billion into the economy between March and September, giving the capacity for household consumption to improve substantially in the coming quarters, which bodes well for the retail sector into 2021.

Lachlan MacGillivray, Head of Retail Investment Services at Colliers said, “We are starting to see signs of an improvement in the market, with enquiry increasing and deals transpiring. A key factor is the significant pricing disconnect between retail and other asset classes complimented by the opportunity to buy generational and defensive “Trophy Assets”.

“High conviction Investors that are well capitalised and are prepared to look through the short-term challenges will be ideally positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.”


Industrial and logistics property has been brought to the forefront in 2020 and investment allocations to industrial have risen significantly as result of several structural tailwinds.

The industrial and logistics investment market is expected to gather further momentum in 2021 due to significant levels of infrastructure investment and the exponential growth of e-commerce. More broadly, economic conditions are expected to improve in Q4 2020 and into 2021 which will further support spending patterns and industrial occupancy demand.

“At present, there is an estimated $26 billion in capital looking to invest in the sector,” said Gavin Bishop, Head of Industrial Capital Markets at Colliers.

“Given that just $3.57 billion has traded so far in 2020, it highlights the significant mismatch between supply and demand and the significant volume of unsatisfied capital looking to be placed.”

“As a result of this, we expect that additional assets will be brought to market in 2021 as groups look to capitalise on the continued strength of the industrial and logistics market.”


2020 has brought an abrupt halt to the bull run of transactions for the Australian hotel investment market, with transactions declining markedly to total $406 million over the first nine months of the year, relative to the long-term average of $1.6 billion.

This would represent the lowest annual transaction volume since 1999 and highlights the severity of the COVID-19 crisis for the Australian hotel investment market.

Gus Moors, Head of Hotels at Colliers said, “The global hotel and tourism sectors have been one of the most impacted by social distancing measures introduced by governments across the world in response to COVID-19 with impacts widespread and indiscriminate across borders, cities and visitor segments.”

The outlook for hotel trading across Australia continues to improve, though demand is expected to come back in layers over the coming year.

Australia’s domestic leisure markets are expected to recover first as interstate border restrictions are lifted with notable trading spikes during school holiday periods boosting regional hotel markets.”

“The establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and NSW/NT effective from October 2020, is also hoped to provide a blueprint for the wider reopening of Australia’s international borders, providing an additional boost to hotels.”

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John Marasco

Managing Director | Capital Markets & Investment Services


I have been with Colliers International for over 25 years and am the Managing Director of Capital Markets & Investment Services, Australia as well as the State Chief Executive of Victoria.  

I have established a strong reputation in the Capital Markets space and have formed close relationships with major investors and institutions on a global scale. In recent years, I have negotiated some of Australia’s largest real estate transactions and have been instrumental in successfully brokering many substantial transactions with overseas investors entering the Australian market. My extensive connectivity in the global real estate market can unite capital with local expertise, regardless of location.

Our national Investment Services business represents market specializations including Capital Markets and Investment Sales. The two clear divisions servicing the Australian commercial office market ensures complete market coverage, efficiency and premium experiences and successes for our clients. 

‚ÄčAs a long standing senior member within Colliers International, I have played an integral role in contributing to the business's success in Australia. I hold a number of senior positions with Colliers including a member of the National Executive Board. I am committed to the success of the business by providing our people with the tools they require to deliver incomparable service and results.

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Adam Woodward

Head of Capital Markets | Australia


Adam is a highly motivated, well rounded property professional with proven experience in deal origination and completion of major property transactions across all investment sectors. Adam’s specific experience has been working in a transaction team for a major public and wholesale institutional investment business.

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Lachlan MacGillivray

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Specialising in the sale of major shopping centres, Lachlan has managed the sale of over $15 billion worth of shopping centres, working with a wide range of clients including institutional, international and private investors.

In 2021, Lachlan’s team transacted the largest retail deal in Australian history, with the sale of Pacific Fair and Macquarie Centre for $2.2 billion. This deal represents the largest retail transaction globally since 2018. He also secured the second largest agency retail transaction in Australia at $1.00 billion in the sale of Pacific Werribee and Pacific Epping.

In 2019, Lachlan's team transacted 83% of all retail assets greater than $100 million, equalling a total of $3.58 billion in sales. These included:
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In the last 5 years, Lachlan has sold 8 out of the 9 Australian regional shopping centres that were presented to market, and has successfully marketed over 100 different assets. Lachlan has achieved the largest individual transaction in Australian history with the sale of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, QLD for $810 million (50% interest). 

With an in-depth understanding of shopping centre performance, Lachlan can provide you with expert advice on the sale and acquisition of all your retail investment:

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Gavin Bishop

Managing Director | Industrial


Gavin is the Managing Director of Industrial & Head of Industrial Capital Markets Australia at Colliers, where he has been specialising in industrial property for 21+ years. Based in the Sydney CBD Head Office, Gavin manages a highly successful team of over 120 staff across every state & territory nationally in key industrial and logistics precincts.

Gavin specialises in the national industrial capital markets and has excellent relationships across a broad spectrum of institutional, international and private investors. Over Gavin’s time with Colliers, he has completed hundreds of deals in industrial property, settling over $14 billion in his career to date, and leasing over 400,000sqm. Gavin enjoys a 75% market share of industrial capital markets share in NSW.

Gavin has worked extensively in the sale of industrial portfolios of up to 30 assets in one portfolio. Gavin and his team have sold 24/34 of all industrial portfolios in Australia over the last five years, including the AMP Portfolio ($105m), J.P. Morgan Portfolio ($250m), Altis Portfolio ($342.5m), Qantas Portfolio ($802m) and GIC/Australand Portfolio ($1.073b).

Some major distribution centre sales that Gavin and his team have been involved in over the last two years include, the Calibre, Eastern Creek ($130.1 million), 1 Eucalyptus Place, Eastern Creek ($90.5 million), 3 Roberts Road, Eastern Creek ($253 millions) and 6-20 Clunies Ross Street, Greystanes ($76.6 million)

Gavin has focused on building deep relationships with his clients, providing the latest in-depth information about logistics markets across Australia, which in line with his extensive track record, has seen Gavin achieve record-breaking results for his clients.

Gavin is a long-standing member of the Colliers team, having joined in 2000 as a graduate valuer. Gavin commenced with Colliers as part of their Scholarship Program and he was fortunate to work across multiple service lines and locations across Sydney, before settling in the Industrial team in Sydney South in 2001. Over the last 20 years, Gavin has progressed through the industrial business including managing the Sydney South and Sydney South West offices, before moving into the NSW State Product Director for Industrial in 2010.

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Gus Moors

Head of Hotels | Australia


Having joined Colliers in early 2014, I have subsequently sold over $180 million of hotel assets across Victoria and NSW, including the largest hotel transaction in Victoria since 2008, being Bell City Preston for $143 million.

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