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Untapped capital suggests strong appetite for Australia’s Office Middle Markets

Colliers have transacted close to $178.5m worth of Office Middle Market assets across Sydney and Canberra in the past two weeks via on-market and private placement sales. In these unprecedented times, Colliers have tapped into unplaced capital and witnessed strong demand for office middle market assets in CBD and metro locations. 

Matthew Meynell, Head of Investment Services Australia said, “It’s become apparent that property is relatively more attractive than cash or equities and our recent campaigns have displayed a level of confidence in this asset class amidst the current market conditions.”

Vince Kernahan, National Director, Sydney CBD Sales, recently transacted the only Sydney CBD “On Market” office asset to sell in 2020.  The sales campaign for 191 Thomas Street ran throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, but nonetheless generated significant interest from both onshore and offshore buyers. The property sold for $80.08m to an offshore syndicate at a record yield of 3.44% and rate per square metre of $16,694.

Vince said, “We took the property to the market at a time when COVID-19 had hit China but had not travelled internationally. The "on market" campaign ran for 5 weeks, during which COVID-19 became a real threat internationally and we wondered how the "offshore" buyers would react”. The Expressions of Interest for 191 Thomas Street were due approx. 3 weeks after Australia had effectively closed its borders. But despite this we received 13 offers including 6 from offshore groups. Strong demand continues from within Australia and offshore, particularly Asia. The underbidders on 191 Thomas St alone account for $825M of unsatisfied capital waiting to invest”.

Another recent on-market sale was the Leichhardt Collection, a sale and lease back on behalf of Best and Less which received an overwhelming 144 enquiries and 16 formal offers totalling $384,457,000. 

James Cowan and Matthew Meynell, Head of Investment Services Australia brokered the sale. The property transacted at $29,000,000 at a passing initial yield of 4.63% which leaves more than $350,000,000 of unplaced capital for middle markets office and warehouse accommodation in this market.”

“The middle markets asset class proposes excellent returns & growth potential to investors seeking secure and strong growth. The space becomes more enticing in the current volatile economic climate because of the security of the assets and their growth potential when investors focus on unlocking entrapped value.”

This is being seen across all Australian capital cities in both the CBD and fringe/metro office markets; however, the geographic trend becomes most obvious when comparing the tight CBD office market to the Metro Markets nationally.
Matthew Winter, Director of Colliers Canberra said “the sale of 1 Thynne Street, Bruce, ACT to Kordamentha Property Fund for ~$39.3m at an initial yield of 6.25%, is indicative of this trend. With Fixed annual rental reviews of 3.00% p.a and a WALE of 9+ years, it presents strong income growth which is attractive to both domestic and off-shore groups .”

388-390 Sussex Street Sydney, the Transport Workers’ Union of NSW building was sold by Joseph Lin and Steam Leung of the Asia Markets business by private placement for $29m. 

“Given its prime location in Haymarket and rarity of this type of stock, 388-390 Sussex Street received multiple competitive offers; predominantly from Asian high-net-worth investors with a clear intention of taking advantage of low interest rates and the weak Australian dollar,” said Joseph Lin, National Director Asian Markets at Colliers.

Matthew Meynell said “ we are certainly in uncharted waters when it comes to predicting the impacts of the Coronavirus but uncertainty provides opportunity and we have seen a material increase in enquires and if you look at our four very recent office middle markets sales there is $1.5 billion of unplaced capital and 36 parties who were unsuccessful in executing their acquisition strategies.”


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Matthew Meynell

Head of Investment Services | Australia


As the Head of Australia’s largest investment sales team, Matthew drives industry leading initiatives across Middle Market Office assets, Offshore capital, complex workout solutions in the Restructuring and Insolvency space and is proudly backed by a team of over 80 professionals at the forefront of the industry.

Matthew’s investment into relationships sees him deliver revenue, exceptional results and always exceed his client’s expectations. By doing what’s right for the team, the greater Colliers business and his clients, he has established himself as an exceptional leader within the business and the property industry.

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Joseph Lin

National Director, Asia Markets | Investment Services


Joseph is the National Director, Asia Markets based in the Sydney CBD Investment Services team. He has a key focus of working with Asian Ultra-High-Net-Worth investors and institutional capital partners, having previously facilitated multiple high-profile domestic and cross-border transactions in and from Asia. 

Prior to joining Colliers International, Joseph was the Managing Director of CBRE Taiwan office where he led a team of 200 staffs across multiple business lines. Through his understanding of Asian clients' requirements in various stages of property ownership and his extensive management experiences across a range of expertise, Joseph has been the go-to-person for his Asian clients, connecting the right specialists to provide the best-in-class practices and expert advices and to deliver exceptional value for his clients.

With his unique skills in Architecture and Project Management, his exceptional experiences in international transactions and his language abilities in Mandarin, Cantonese and English, he has successfully facilitated the offshore and onshore Asian clients to expand and/or divest their real estate portfolio in Australia.

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Steam Leung

National Director, Asia Markets | Investment Services


I am currently the  National Director of Colliers International (Australia)  Asia Markets team in the Investment Services department, and have worked for Colliers International for over 28 years. With the rise of Asian investments into Australia, my focus is to facilitate the needs of domestic and international Asian clients. I have an extensive experience working with the Chinese community, and work closely with my colleagues to introduce new international clients / buyers for our listings. As a senior operator, my role at Colliers International focusses on the Sydney CBD and metro surrounding area, specifically targeting the  CBD South, Haymarket and Chinatown regions, where I work closely with my clients to achieve the best results for their properties. I have extremely strong networks with the local Chinese community and I assist and advise many Asian clients, investors and developers. I speak Cantonese and Mandarin fluently and frequently travel to Asia, such as Hong Kong, Macua, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

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James Cowan

Director | Investment Services


I am a Director within the Sydney Investment Services team & NSW Team Leader of the Restructuring Property Services business at Colliers International,  focusing heavily on the City Fringe & Inner Western Suburbs selling a wide range of varying asset classes.

Prior to my five years at Colliers International, I was honing in on my analytical skills for four years as a commercial property valuer at Savills Australia focussing on premium quality investments across multiple disciplines. Combining these analytical skills with good communication skills and determination, I bring a wealth of experience and strategy for both my colleagues and clients alike

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Vince Kernahan

National Director, Sydney CBD Sales | Investment Services


I am the National Director – Investment Sales for the Commercial & Investment Sales division of Colliers International, based in Sydney and specialising in the Sydney CBD market. I am a key member of the National Capital Transactions team that works on selling assets in all States of Australia. This team discusses the active buyers and most saleable assets to ensure that our collective knowledge is utilised effectively.  I act for numerous major institutional and private clients coordinating sales campaigns and selling assets.


My specific expertise is in the promotion and sale of all forms of commercial property particularly in Sydney’s Central Business District. This includes sale of freehold, leasehold and stratum office buildings, development sites, strata projects and investment opportunities. As part of this I have sold numerous residential sites and retail properties. I have sold in excess of 500 properties during my career including numerous and complex campaigns, some requiring a high degree of probity.

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Matthew Winter

Director | Capital Markets & Investment Services


As a  leader of the ACT Investment Services & Capital Markets businesses, Matthew specialises in the sale of CBD and Metro Office buildings, Strata Office, Retail and Premium Investment assets. Matthew has positioned himself and his team at the forefront of the Canberra market, achieving the dominant market share over the past 3 years and transacting over $1b in sales. His efforts earnt the Colliers Canberra team the title of REIACT Commercial agency of the year for 2017, 2018 and 2019 as well as REIA Commercial Agency of the year 2019.  In 2020,  as part of the Canberra agency team, Matthew and colleagues were inducted into the REIACT Hall of Fame.  In 2021 Matthew and his team facilitated over $900m in sales throughout the ACT and other National Metro Markets. 

Matthew collaborates as part of the National Investment Services team and is a key decision-maker within:

  • Middle Markets Office initiative
  • Strata Practice Group
  • Premium Investments Practice Group
  • Restructuring Property Services team (where he is the ACT team leader)

He values his investment in relationships, and partners with private and institutional clients locally, nationally and internationally (through local travel to Asia). This enables him to deliver enduring value to any property appointment acting with integrity and discretion. 

Critical to his success is his ability to extract the maximum sale price for his clients, even in challenging market conditions. By combining the right expertise, market experience and connections, he has developed a strategy to maximise the potential of property to drive exceptional results.

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