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Wellington Retail Report | Second Half 2020

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  • Vacant space in the CBD rose to over 7,000 sq m in the June quarter reflecting a vacancy rate of 6.7% compared to the 4.1% recorded in the December quarter last year. The increase was largely influenced by a small number of larger units which have become available in the Willis Street precinct.
  • Retail development in Wellington remains muted with a majority of the pipeline comprising small ground floor retail spaces in residential projects or offices. This coupled with an increasing amount of stock being removed for refurbishment has seen a reduction in total floor space from 112,530 sq m to 111,618 sq m in the latest survey.
  • Approximately 1,100 sq m of prime retail space will be added to the Cuba precinct in the coming months when refurbishment works on the ex-farmers site completes. Telecommunications provider Spark and apparel retailer Glassons have committed to tenancies.
  • Investor interest in large format retailing and supermarket-type stores has been heightened by their defensive investment asset characteristics. For example, 98-100 Abel Smith Road, Te Aro tenanted by Liqourland recently transacted for $6.0 million representing an approximate initial yield of 5.75% to a local private investor.
  • COVID-19 enforced lockdowns have highlighted the importance to retailers of having a strong online presence. The greater familiarity with online shopping is accelerating change within the retail sector such as the  proposed development by Countdown of a new dedicated ‘eStore’ in Wellington following the success of the first concept store in Auckland.

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Wellington Retail Report | Second Half 2020

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Related Experts

Tim Bowden

Commercial Sales and Leasing Broker

Wellington (Agency)

Tim specialises in retail sales and leasing in the wider Wellington market, dealing in all aspects of the sector from boutique and high end fashion to large format retail. He has an extensive national and international database of tenants and tenant representatives which combined with his in depth knowledge of the local market delivers results for his clients. Tim’s strength lies in his ability to match client requirements to on market and off market opportunities and he has the relationships throughout Wellington to ensure results are achieved.

Having acted in both portfolio management and lease advisory roles Tim understands that property is often not the core business of his clients and customers and his communication skills and expertise across leasing and sales of property enable him to add value.

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Richard Findlay

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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.

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As the head of research for Colliers, Chris oversees the collaboration and delivery of award-winning research reports. He is a regular presenter and market commentator, often discussing the latest insights on current and future property trends.

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With over 15 years of experience and university qualifications in economics, geography, marketing and property, Chris provides a multi-disciplinary approach that assists a broad range of clients and internal stakeholders.

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My Colliers partnership priorities focus on supporting the New Zealand franchise network through the provision of research and thought leadership reports, articles and presentations. I draw on over 30 years of experience in the property market, gained in both the UK and New Zealand to my role enabling me to assist a broad range of clients and internal stakeholders. I am a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors. I am a regular presenter on current market conditions and future trends to the media, clients and various interest groups.

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