Brisbane Lining Up for Record Industrial Build

After capping off a record $2.3-billion year of transactions, Brisbane’s booming industrial sector is tipped to double its pipeline this year.

It is the third consecutive year the city has broken its transaction record.

A CBRE report on the city’s industrial and logistics results in the fourth quarter showed a strong appetite for speculative developments, as investors looked to capitalise on occupier demand.

CBRE head of industrial and logistics research Sass J-Baleh said 37 per cent of developments in 2021 were speculative, while this year almost half of development in the pipeline would be speculative.

“New supply is forecast to increase significantly in 2022 and reach around 683,669sq m—surpassing the 10-year annual average and over double the 2021 total,” J-Baleh said.

“Approximately 64 per cent of the 2022 supply pipeline is already under construction.

“There is a relatively large supply of speculative floorspace due for completion in 2022, with 325,705sq m set to complete in the year as investors look to capitalise on cheap debt and deploy significant amounts of capital in the booming sector.

“With a lack of investable stock available on the market, it is expected that investors will continue the trend towards building speculative supply, on the back of expectations of further occupier demand.”

Brisbane industrial financial indicators

Region Prime Net Rents – Q4 (per sqm) Prime net rents – YoY change Prime market yield – Q4 Prime market yield – YoY change
North $126 3.4% 5.28% 77bps
Outer south $108 2.4% 4.95% 80bps
Western corridor $110 4.8% 4.95% 105bps
M1 corridor $113 2.3% 5.1% 80bps
Trade Coast $123 6.5% 4.95% 80bps

^Source: CBRE Brisbane Industrial and Logistics 4Q21

Retail trade accounted for 60 per cent of the take up of industrial space in 2021, in line with the surging trend to e-commerce in Australia, while industrial vacancy rates dipped from 2.4 per cent to 2 per cent in Brisbane over the year.

Prime net face rents have increased 2.8 per cent over the past 12 months.

But in the race to secure pre-leases prime incentives have increased alongside this. The average incentive at the end of December was 21 per cent, up 220 basis points over the year.

Consequently, net effective rents have actually dropped 0.2 per cent quarter on quarter.

“In line with the elevated speculative supply pipeline in the Brisbane industrial market, many of the significant occupier transactions for the quarter were in pre-lease market,” J-Baleh said.

“The most significant pre-lease deals in the fourth quarter of 2021 include Winning Appliances at 3270 Ipswich Road, Wacol for 45,740sq m, and Bapcor Limited in Berrinba for 45,000sq m.

“It is expected that larger occupiers will continue to look at speculative developments for their future space requirements as tranches of speculative supply continue to be developed.”

J-Baleh said the decreased land availability in Brisbane had led to significant land value appreciation. Small lots in Brisbane were now priced at about $414 per sq metre, an increase of 8.4 per cent year on year while large lots were averaging $302 per sq metre, an increase of 10.6 per cent year on year.

“Land values are expected to continue to rise as land availability becomes scarce in Brisbane. Particularly in precincts where there is not a great amount of future land development available,” she said.

“However, this in turn will result in a lack of pure land transactions as developers will look to hold on to land offerings to capitalise on the future value rather than dispose of them.”

Australia’s industrial vacancy rates are at an all-time low of 1.3 per cent nationally, down from 6.3 per cent two years ago.


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