Sydney-based Haben Property Group has purchased Wallsend Shopping Centre off market for $81 million.
Nick Willis, of CBRE, sold the property on behalf of Stockland and said the transaction was indicative of growing investment demand for shopping centres across NSW.
“There has been an increase in enquiry for retail investments over the past six months … we have noticed a shift in investor demand looking to strong regional locations in pursuit of greater returns,” Mr Willis said.
“Shopping centres that offer strong growth potential via income or future development are highly sought after.”
He said the sale represented a yield of approximately 6.6 per cent and was in line with the Stockland book value of $81 million.
Built in 1988, the centre comprises 37 specialty stores plus a range of services, and is anchored by Coles and Aldi supermarkets.
The 12,000 square metre shopping centre is positioned on a 42,114 square metre site.
Mr Willis said underpinning the investment demand for regional assets has been a lower supply pipeline of new shopping centres being offered to the market across NSW.
According to CBRE research, just over 12,000 square metres of new space was forecast for delivery this year.
“Core Sydney metropolitan locations are highly sought after in the current market, driving continued yield compression,” he said.
“With limited available supply there is strong competition which is driving investors to look further abroad in pursuit of greater returns. Strong, growing regional cities such as Newcastle, which are benefiting from significant development, are increasingly being sought after by national and international investors.”
The sale comes after AMP Capital bought the Marketown Shopping Centre for $163 million on behalf of Sunsuper last year.
It was one of three shopping centre sales in the region in 2017. Muswellbrook Shire Council bought Muswellbrook Marketplace for $34.25 million on a passing yield of 6.97 per cent, according to selling agency Savills.
Savills also sold Elermore Vale Shopping Centre in September to CTSP Funds Management for $17.375 million on behalf of Bamm Group with a passing yield of 6.80 per cent. It comprised 4048 square metres of shopping centre on a site of 23,882 square metres and reportedly attracted plenty of interest before its sale.
In September, Jesmond Shopping Centre hit the market but has since been withdrawn and remains a Stockland owned and managed asset.