Focus on Victoria Park

Recently Bruce Porter was invited to present to the Australian Property Institute at one of their 4pm forums providing an insight into the Victoria Park property market. The supporting slideshow to this article can be found here.

The Commercial offices of Porter Commercial and the Residential Office of Porter Matthews Victoria Park are both located in the Town of Victoria Park and so we have significant interest in the Victoria Park real estate market.

 

RESIDENTIAL SNAP SHOT

As an inner metropolitan Council, the Town of Victoria Park is a naturally dynamic residential and commercial pocket sized area packed into a mere 18 square kilometres. 32,000 residents forecast to grow to 45,700 by 2031.

REIWA Statistics show that over the last ten (10) years the residential marketplace in Victoria Park has given an average annual growth rate of 5.3% compared to the Perth Metropolitan Region of 4.2%, so as a residential destination, the area is showing better than average value growth. The median housing price is $670,000.00.

 

COMMERCIAL OVERVIEW

I will be talking on the commercial aspects of the Town of Victoria Park and the investment results are far more stunning than the residential marketplace has been able to offer.

I will give you a general overview of prevailing rates of value through the different Albany Highway and Burswood Precinct zones and then highlight a number of case studies of transactions in which we have been involved, which we hope will give you a deeper understanding of this dynamic marketplace.

We have carried out a sales analysis of a basket of commercial transactions throughout the Town of Victoria Park to be able to give you a sense of the investment performance of this dynamic area. From our analysis we can tell you that the average annual growth rate in commercial values over the last ten (10) years has been approximately 11% per annum, so twice the residential growth rate. If you bought for $400,000.00 in 2006 you would be sitting with nearly $1.13 million today and that is exactly what we have seen in some of the sales that we have concluded.

 

ALBANY HIGHWAY

This is one of the great High Streets of the Perth Metropolitan area and its relatively affordable rents and commercial values combined with its near City proximity, high accessibility and the growing affluence of the surrounding residential area have seen Albany Highway develop as a popular business destination.

There are three (3) distinct zones along Albany Highway and each offer different potential. In general terms, there is the “Commercial” zone towards the Causeway end of the Highway followed by the “District Centre” zone centred around the main Victoria Park and East Victoria Park Shopping Precincts and then followed by the “Mixed Use Residential / Commercial” zone stretching through East Victoria Park.

You will know that historically Albany Highway has been identified with the Automotive Sales Industry and today there remain several large automotive landholdings such as the John Hughes Group, the Youngs Family and the Allen Group but you will need to know that automotive activities are in fact a Prohibited Use in most of these zones and those many car yards that we see dotted along the Highway will generally have a Non-Conforming use rights. The important thing to note with these approvals is that they will only subsist for six (6) months following closure of the yard and then the approval is lost.

So on reviewing the Town of Victoria Park’s various Precinct Plans and Planning Policies for Albany Highway, you will see a deliberate intent to change the nature of land use away from the automotive industry to a combination of street friendly commercial development and medium density residential development. The Town of Victoria Park has some excellent policies to encourage and guide development, however, I must note that from a personal observation a number of Developers have still managed to contrive to produce some relatively ugly buildings and in some cases developments that are not overly commercially viable.

Causeway – Comm Zone:

In general terms, current sales evidence indicates that property in the Commercial zone towards the Causeway end of the Highway are commanding values in the range of $2,000.00 to $2,500.00 per square metre.

District Centre Zone:

Towards the middle of the Highway in the “Commercial” and “District Centre” zones we have seen sales in the range of $1,800.00 to $2,000.00 per square metre.

Mixed Use Comm/Res – Zone:

In the “Mixed Use” zone at the upper end of the Highway values are $1,500.00 to $1,800.00 per square metre.

The “Mixed Use” zone has proven to be very popular with Developers during the past residential uplift, however, you should note that today residential development is slowing and so demand for these properties has likely fallen off a little.

It has been our experience that Council definitely wants to see a mixed use of development and so commercial development options alone in this zone are not favourably considered.

Having said this, Council has been supportive of commercial uses of existing buildings that are complimentary to the nature of the area. This is important because many of the Investors buying along Albany Highway are not considering immediate development but would like to achieve a holding return from the existing improvements.

 

BUYER MOTIVATION

This then leads us into the motivation of Buyers that we have experienced and the overwhelming majority appear to be treating Albany Highway property as a store of wealth with longer term development aspirations. Holding returns from existing improvements are quite modest and typically 3% to 5% is demonstrated. It is in the Automotive Sales Industry that we are seeing the most changes occurring. In our view, there is a polarisation in the Automotive Sales Industry to the large yards with the smaller dealers choosing to go online thereby alleviating the need for an expensive yard on Albany Highway.

It is these properties that we are seeing change hands for other uses.

Typically, a 1,000 square metre car yard that may change hands at say $1.8 million could be expected to generate a rental return of only $70,000.00 to $80,000.00 per annum so fairly low returns but this is simply a holding exercise and quite acceptable in the current low interest rate environment.

 

BURSWOOD ROAD / GOODWOOD PARADE

Stepping away from Albany Highway for a moment, we have had a look for you in the other two main Commercial Precincts in the Town of Victoria Park. We would call it the Burswood Road Precinct; the Town of Vic Park calls it the Causeway Precinct. This area is designated for medium to high density office / residential development and there have been a few recent sales that give a good indication of value. Last December my good friend Tony Delich sold 153 – 157 Burswood Road. This is a 1,836 square metre development site importantly situated on the river side of Burswood Road backing onto the Park. Land on this side of the road carries a premium. The price was $3,815,000.00 excluding GST indicating $2,078.00 per square metre. Tony’s sales blurb tells me that the site has potential for a six (6) storey “Mixed Use” development.

We see the same story when we move to the “Office / Residential” zone up along the Goodwood Parade Precinct with land along Goodwood Parade having changed hands at between $1,800.00 and $2,000.00 per square metre and then landholdings further back from the view showing $1,500.00 to $1,600.00 per square metre.

 

CASE STUDIES

Now reverting to some quick case studies, we can speak with greater authority on the properties that we have sold and here is a summary on a few of these:-

277 Great Eastern Highway, (Cnr. Griffiths Street), Burswood

277 Great Eastern Hwy Burswood

This is the 24 Hour Deli that we all know. It has an “Office / Residential” zone but really has sold as a leased property.

Land – 888m2

Building – 400m2

Rent – $150,000.00 p.a. net.

Lease Expiry – 30th June 2030

Price – Sold by Porter Commercial in May 2016 at $2.3 million.

Yield – 6.52% p.a.

 

544 – 546 Albany Highway, Victoria Park

544-546 Albany Hwy Victoria Park

An older style car yard totalling a site area of 1,006 square metres.

Zone – “Commercial”

Price – Sold by Porter Commercial in March 2015 at $1,850,000.00

Land Rate – $1,839/m2

Leased – The Buyer is a longer term holder and we subsequently leased the site to Ace Car Rentals at $65,000.00 a year.

Yield – 3.51% p.a.

 

767 – 769 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park

767 Alabny Hwy Victoria Park

Esprit Motors, close to The Park Shopping Centre and has front and rear access.

Zone – “District Centre”

Land – 1,058m2

Price – Due to settle February 2017 at $2.1 million.

Land Rate – $1,985/m2

Rental – Presently For Lease at $80,000.00 p.a.

 

975 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park

975 Albany Hwy East Victoria Park

A corner site in the upper part of Albany Highway. The improvements are a single level original residence converted for community purposes. The Buyer is an Investor with longer term development ambitions. We have subsequently leased the property for conversion to a restaurant.

Zone – “Residential / Commercial”

Land – 726m2

Price – Sold by Porter Commercial in May 2015 at $1,280,000.00

Land Rate – $1,765/m2

Leased – $65,000 p.a.

Yield – 5% p.a.

 

1002 – 1004 Albany Highway, East Victoria Park

1002 Albany Hwy East Victoria Park

This is the car yard at the corner of Oats Street and Albany Highway so it has Bunnings on the opposite corner. This is at the very end of the “Mixed Use Residential / Commercial” zone and we originally purchased it off market for our client in April 2015 at $1,650,000.00. The Buyer had commercial development aspirations but ran into a considerable amount of resistance from the Town of Victoria Park. This is one of those sites where the Town really does want a mixed use development in the zone. Consequently, we resold the site for the client in June 2016.

Zone – “Residential / Commercial”

Land – 1,368m2

Price – Sold June 2016 at $2,200,000.00

Land Rate – $1,608/m2

 

SUMMARY

The Town of Victoria Park is an exciting area offering a diversity of inner urban commercial and residential development opportunities. Historically, it is still more affordable than most of the other major High Street Precincts such as Oxford Street and Beaufort Street and for this reason there has been a concentration of Developer and business interests in Victoria Park.

If there is a criticism, it is a personal observation that some of the recent mixed use development has not achieved the outcomes that the marketplace or Council would have desired and perhaps in their review of planning policy there may be able to be a refinement to try and secure a better quality of development. It is apparent that the larger scale developments, ie: those with larger landholdings, are certainly more architecturally appealing and have been commercially more viable while a number of the narrow Lot developments in my view are of questionable appeal, so perhaps Lot amalgamation may be something that Council considers to achieve the best possible outcomes.