Commercial property investors positive despite possible capital gains tax

Wellington commercial space

Results of Colliers' latest quarterly Commercial Property Investor Survey

Commercial property investors remain positive about the market despite the potential impacts of a proposed capital gains tax, new Colliers International research shows.

The latest quarterly Commercial Property Investor Confidence Survey, released today, shows a net positive 22 per cent (optimists minus pessimists) of respondents expect investment conditions to get better over the next 12 months.

This is broadly in line with the last four quarters.

The survey was undertaken during the release of the Tax Working Group’s final Future of Tax report, which recommended broad reform of New Zealand’s taxation system, including a well-signalled capital gains tax.

No distinguishable shift in trends was recorded during the survey period.

Chris Dibble, Research and Communications Director at Colliers, says 10 out of the 12 regions surveyed recorded a net positive score. 

“While the Tax Working Group’s recommendations could have far-reaching impacts for the commercial property sector, if implemented, our survey shows investors remain broadly positive about conditions in the year ahead.”

Dibble says it’s important to remember the Tax Working Group’s recommendations are only proposals at this stage, and a significant process lies ahead before any tax changes are introduced by 2021.

Colliers International’s latest survey returned Queenstown to the top spot for commercial property investor confidence, after being eclipsed by Tauranga/Mt Maunganui in the previous quarter.

Queenstown recorded a net positive 52 per cent, up 6 percentage points on the December 2018 quarter.

Alastair Wood, Managing Director of Colliers Otago, is upbeat about the market’s fundamentals.

“Population and tourism growth continue to underpin confidence within the Queenstown commercial market, with significant investment forecast in both infrastructure and construction over the next decade,” he says.

“Queenstown’s lifestyle offering and strong historic capital gains combine with chronic supply constraints to maintain optimism in the market.”

Tauranga/Mt Maunganui may have lost the top spot but remains one of the most confident markets in New Zealand, coming in at second place.
It recorded a net positive 51 per cent – only 1 percentage point behind frontrunner Queenstown.

Simon Clark, Managing Director of Colliers Tauranga, says 2019 has started with “a real bang”.

“We’re seeing record prices for quality investments, with yields in the 4 per cent to 5 per cent range being achieved from investors from all over the country.

“I think this year Tauranga will remain in high demand from investors who find it a safe-haven for their funds, with strong population growth and a booming regional economy.”

Wellington took out third place in the survey overall, with a net positive 43 per cent, followed by Auckland (32 per cent) and Hamilton (30 per cent).

The office sector was the stand-out in Wellington, where tenant demand remains high and vacancy rates are low, despite premium new stock coming onto the market.

Richard Findlay, Managing Director of Colliers Wellington, says the Wellington office and industrial markets are continuing to tighten with vacancy rates across both sectors at historically low levels.

“Owners are obtaining strong rental uplift when rents are reviewed, helping deliver better than expected property returns.

“The growing premium office stock is seen as a positive in a tight A and B Grade office market where tenants are demanding more from their buildings and using space more intensively.”

Napier/Hastings had a standout result with a net positive 24 per cent – the highest on record since the survey began almost a decade ago.

The result was up 9 percentage points on the previous quarter, and a noteworthy 14 percentage points up on the same time last year.

Christchurch recorded a 15 per cent net negative score, with pessimists outweighing optimists. However, 45 per cent of respondents in both the office and retail sectors were neutral, indicating they expect current positive investment conditions to remain steady.

New Zealand’s industrial sector continues to be a top performer. In Auckland and Christchurch, respondents were most optimistic about industrial.

In Wellington and Christchurch’s retail sector, pessimists outweighed optimists. However, 47 per cent and 45 per cent of respondents respectively expected conditions to remain steady.

Colliers International’s Commercial Property Investor Confidence Survey drew on 1,598 responses.


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Chris Dibble

National Director | Colliers Partnerships, Research & Communications

Auckland CBD

My Colliers Partnership priorities focus on support initiatives that drive collaboration, best practice learning, cost efficiencies and growth opportunities across the wider Colliers International New Zealand franchise network. I also oversee the collaboration and delivery of award-winning research reports and communications for Colliers. With over 13 years of experience and university qualifications in economics, geography, marketing and property. I have a multi-disciplinary approach that assists a broad range of clients and internal stakeholders. I am a regular presenter and market commentator, often discussing the latest insights on current and future property trends. I also work with in-house and external writers to curate an audience-focused content delivery strategy for Colliers.

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Alastair Wood

Director | Commercial Broker | Sales and Leasing

Queenstown

Alastair is one of the most experienced property professionals in the Otago region, with over 25 years’ property experience in the Queenstown-Lakes, Wanaka and Dunedin districts. Building lasting relationships with his clients, he has a strong reputation for results, integrity and his strategic approach to bringing deals together to the satisfaction of all parties.

Specialising in investment sales of commercial property and development sites, Alastair also takes the lead in syndicated property sales and equity raises, introducing commercial investment to a wealth of new customers. He has worked closely over the last six years with Mitchell Mackersy in various equity raises for syndicated commercial investments. 

A director of Otago Realty (NZ) Ltd (a member of Colliers International Group), operating throughout the Otago and Southland regions, Alastair has also held various directorships in other property related entities including Maori Hill Property Ltd which now has in excess of $1 billion under management around New Zealand. He is a Fellow Member of the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) and a former Fellow Member of the New Zealand Institute of Valuers. Also a past chair and board member of Downtown Queenstown, which helped in the formation of the Queenstown Town Centre Master Plan.

Outside of the office, the father of three is a keen outdoorsman, taking advantage of Queenstown’s iconic landscape.

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Simon Clark

Managing Director

Tauranga

Simon is the managing director of the Colliers Tauranga office. With over 28 years in the industry, he is the most experienced and successful commercial broker in the region. He specialises in the sale of commercial and industrial investments as well as the lease of industrial properties. Throughout his long career, Simon has negotiated the majority of the largest transactions  in his chosen market and has delivered in excess of $1 billion in sales.

Simon works closely with other Colliers branches around New Zealand and in Australia to ensure that local investment listings have the best possible exposure nationally and internationally. He also has an extensive local  network including close relationships with private, corporate, Iwi and syndicator investors who come to him for his vast market knowledge and  to ensure they will find the best investment opportunities.

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Richard Findlay

Managing Director

Wellington (Agency)

As an owner of Colliers International Wellington Richard has been involved in all aspects of the business and specialises in high value transactions and development opportunities.

He has over 25 years experience in commercial property and been involved in a large number of Wellington’s biggest sales.

Richard offers his clients a strong understanding of the wider commercial market whilst still delivering specialist advice across different property sectors. With a global breadth of local knowledge at hand, he takes a personal interest in ensuring his clients are kept well informed of the Wellington property market.

Richard began his career with commercial leasing and later sales and spent three years with central London property firm Gooch & Wagstaff. Between his expertise, knowledge base and the networks he maintains, he prides himself on being one of Wellington’s best informed brokers.

Richard was formerly on the Wellington committee for the NZ Property Council and is a past chairman for the Wellington branch of the NZPI.

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