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Why commercial property future could be a growth market for agents

12 August 2019 Reporter

The market sentiment for commercial property has seen “a strong lift in confidence” in the second quarter of 2019, despite retail and CBD hotels showcasing less than stellar performances.

The NAB Commercial Property Index, contained within the bank’s commercial property survey for Q2 2019, has indicated overall market sentiment as lifting by 9 points to +7 across April, May and June.

The swing has apparently been led by strong optimism across New South Wales and Victoria, with the report noting that by sector, positive sentiment has increased the most for commercial office spaces.

According to the NAB index, the office sector is well clear of its nearest competitor and sitting at +39 points, which is 19 points clear of the industrial sector.


Despite such a points difference, the bank has considered the industrial sector as “outperforming” commercial property as a whole with an expectation of further future growth.

This is due to nationwide statistics showing that industrial property experienced a 5-point swing further towards the positive since the first quarter of 2019.

While retail has improved slightly since the first quarter of 2019, it’s still the worst performing sector of the commercial properties surveyed (from -44 to -38).

According to NAB, this is “perhaps reflecting the outcome of the federal election and firming expectations around rate cuts” and is amid difficult retail business conditions and subdued household spending.

The biggest quarterly negative move, however, was evident in the CBD hotels sector, which has witnessed a steady fall since the third quarter of 2018 that has resulted in a survey low for the industry, the report said.

CBD hotels has dropped by 15 index points since the fourth quarter of 2018, where it sat at a neutral 0.

It now sits at -15, and is expected to drop a further 25 points in the next two years to -40 on NAB’s index.

12-month predictions

According to NAB’s forecasts, capital growth expectations for the next year are highest for office (1.9 per cent), with the best prospects to be found in Victoria and New South Wales, and reflective of current sentiments.

Industrial values are expected to grow 1 per cent on average, the report noted, with South Australia, the Northern Territory and Victoria all outperforming the other states.

Capital values in retail (-1.7 per cent) and CBD hotels (-1.8 per cent) are expected to fall over the same period, it was noted.

Future forecasts

In the slightly longer term, the office sector is expected to see 2 per cent growth to capital value over the next two years, while industrial property will also maintain its strength with 1.5 per cent capital growth, with both figures helped along by eastern seaboard state performances, the report flagged.

On the negative end of the spectrum, the survey reported retail and CBD hotels values as expected to drop even further, by a further 1.7 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively, over a two-year period.

Why commercial property future could be a growth market for agents
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