Larry Schlesinger | 12 November 2012

Retail and industrial properties under $1 million the sweet spot for small investors: Reader survey

Retail properties priced under $1 million are likely to hold strong appeal for small investors, according to a Property Observer reader survey.

While purchasing commercial real estate remains on the radar for just a small number of readers, of those who do intend to look beyond residential investments, two in five (40%) would consider a commercial property priced between $500,000 and $1 million, while more than a third (36%) are interested in commercial property priced under $500,000.

Less than a quarter would consider investing in commercial property above $1 million.

The most sought-after assets are retail properties, chosen by more than a third of respondents (35%), followed by industrial assets (28%) and office assets (16.3%).

A third of readers considering buying commercial property said they intended to buy using their self-managed super funds, while nearly half (47%) said they would use their commercial property acquisition as their business premises. The remainder said they would acquire a commercial property as an investment.

The results of the survey also indicate that retail property is further along the property cycle than offices and closer to recovering.

Half of those surveyed (51%) said retail property in their state had bottomed out, while less than a third  (32%) said the sector was still in a downswing.

A smaller proportion said their state office market had bottomed out (46%), while more than a third (34%) said it was still in a downswing.

In the last few months, combined warehouse/office premises priced under $1 million have attracted strong interest from both owner-occupiers and small investors.

  • A large 344-square-metre office/warehouse facility at Molendinar, the Gold Coast’s premier industrial precinct, sold to truck spare parts company $430,000. The property at 2/18 Expansion Street, Molendinar, was sold by Steve Macgregor of Ray White Commercial Gold Coast post auction.
  • In Melbourne, an office-warehouse unit at 2 Railway Avenue in Oakleigh sold to a private investor for $670.000 on a yield of around 7.5%. The 389-square-metre building sold leased at a net rental of $50,000 per annum plus GST was negotiated by Crabtrees Real Estate.
  • In September a warehouse/office complex at Hendra in Brisbane’s north was sold by Ray White Industrial Milton to construction company Solutions Three for $675,000.

Retail premises up for sale priced under $500,00 include a Docklands hair salon asking $300,000 to $310,000 at a yield of around 8% and the old pharmacy building in Tasmania’s Campbell Town listed for sale with an asking price of $495,000.

One in 20 of the more 800 readers surveyed by Property Observer said they planned to purchase a commercial property in the next 12 months.

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