South Haven Group buys high-profile Canberra CBD office for $29.2 million

29th April, 2016

Media Release.

Private Melbourne-based property investor and developer South Haven Group has acquired a prominent office building in Canberra’s CBD for $29.2 million – the latest addition to South Haven Group’s commercial portfolio and its first purchase in the Canberra property market.

73 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra is positioned near the entrance to Canberra’s CBD and is primarily leased to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), Dixon Advisory and other private sector tenants. It offers strong environmental credentials including a 4.5-Star NABERS Energy Rating.

South Haven Group’s CEO and co-founder Mr Ian Pratt said that the Northbourne acquisition was a perfect fit for the business.

“We are currently establishing a pipeline of quality, investment and ‘upgrade’ ready commercial, retail and residential projects off the back of a newly established acquisition fund and investment arm,” Mr Pratt said.

Mr Pratt said recent company asset sales, including an office tower at 280 Thomas Street in Dandenong for over $10m and the Croydon Central Shopping Centre for over $40m, both in Melbourne’s South East, had released capital earmarked for new acquisitions.

He said this capital, leveraged with investment from other sources, is enabling South Haven to pursue projects totalling well in excess of $150 million.

The Northbourne Avenue acquisition adds to the recent surge in transactions in the Canberra property market, which is increasingly becoming a hotspot for major investors.

Established more than 30 years ago, South Haven works in all phases of the property investment and development cycle – from buying to planning, designing, constructing, managing and maintaining.

JLL’s Michael Heather and Rob Anderson and CBRE’s Andrew Stewart and Scott Gray-Spencer marketed the 100% leasehold interest in the prominently located asset on behalf of Hume Partners Property.
JLL Head of Sales and Investments, ACT – Michael Heather, said the sale was further evidence that buyer interest remained prevalent.

“It remains clear that office investments in Canberra are sought after by a range of buyer cohorts particularly when the property offers a strong tenant profile and is positioned close to public transport and amenity, as 73 Northbourne Avenue does.”

“Buyer interest came primarily from privates and syndicators and some who were considering investing in Canberra for the first time, including the eventual buyer. This demonstrates that the Canberra office market is being held in high regard because of the resurgence in the leasing market, the liquidity of assets available and prospects of rental growth of the medium to long term,” Mr Heather said.

“Canberra is a relevant office investment market as it offers investors diversification benefits and exposure to AAA rated tenants, which has resulted in a distinct increase in the number of buyer groups actively seeking to acquire office investments in Canberra. This is expected to continue for the foreseeable future,” Mr Heather said.

CBRE’s Canberra Managing Director Andrew Stewart said: “Canberra is currently being viewed as a counter-cyclical investment, with total returns providing investors better income, with secure tenure, particularly those with leases to Commonwealth Government tenants.

“The Canberra market continues to appeal to investors who had previously disregarded the market in favour of other eastern state locations and is now coming into its own as investors realise the higher returns available and the comparable cheaper buying on a rate per square metre,” Mr Stewart added.

Mr Stewart also commented: “We do not expect demand to dwindle if anything, we would envisage greater investor interest along with some yield compression, in line with Melbourne & Sydney locations.”

— Ends —


For further information please contact:

Richard Amos, Royce Communications: M 0418 344 978

Yumeko Leung, Royce Communications: M 0402 127 903