West Auckland housing boom fuels commercial growth

Colliers brokers over half of the West's $380.5m of property transactions

A substantial freehold retail property at 20-30 Sel Peacock Drive, in the fast-growing suburb of Henderson.

West Auckland’s residential boom is driving tremendous growth in the commercial property sector, says the new head of Colliers International’s West Auckland office.

Commercial property transactions in West Auckland last year totalled $380.5 million, more than half of which was brokered by Colliers International.

Figures compiled by Colliers International’s Research and Consulting team found the single biggest commercial sector in West Auckland was industrial, with $198.6m in sales last year.

That was followed by retail ($99m), office ($43.6m) and mixed use and vacant properties ($39.3m).

Josh Coburn, who heads Colliers International’s West Auckland office and the Auckland-wide Site Sales team, says his agency has been responsible for more than $250m of commercial sales in West Auckland since 2016.

He says much of the growing interest in West Auckland commercial property has been fuelled by the boom in residential development.

“West Auckland is the city’s fastest growing area, with an estimated 30,000 new homes needed in the next three decades,” Coburn says.

“Both local and central government have identified West Auckland as a key area for growth, and are investing millions in infrastructure including roads, public spaces, libraries and schools.

“As a result, we’re starting to see more and more corporate investors taking an interest in West Auckland and entrenching their positions in the market.”

Coburn says Westgate in particular has been the top area for residential development land sales for the last two years.

“The commercial sector is paying real attention. They can see Westgate is going to be a major metropolitan centre with everything on offer – its own mall, library, bulk retail, offices and industrial.

“That has translated to substantial investment interest, with land rates trending up across the board for residential, industrial and commercial.

“It is also fuelling extremely low vacancy rates, with the Westgate/North Massey retail vacancy rate at only 2.3 per cent.

“Industrial property is similarly in huge demand, with West Auckland’s overall industrial vacancy rate remaining below 2 per cent for the last two years.”

Coburn says West Auckland’s growth aligns well with the capabilities of his six-strong Site Sales team, which has relocated to Colliers International’s West Auckland office this month.

“Site Sales specialises in identifying residential development opportunities, and demonstrating to potential buyers how to best unlock the value of a site,” he says.

“A lot of our work already takes place in West Auckland, so it makes sense for the team to be based within the community.”

Coburn says there has been a real shift in market perception, with West Auckland properties now considered equivalent to those in the North Shore or city fringe in terms of investment quality.

“It’s all to do with connectivity. The Upper Harbour Highway and Waterview Connection have greatly improved access to the area, and large-scale development has followed.”

Coburn says Colliers is preparing to launch a number of trophy campaigns in the next few months, on top of its current large-scale West Auckland campaigns, which include:

  • A substantial freehold retail property at 20-30 Sel Peacock Drive (pictured top), in the fast-growing suburb of Henderson. The 9,640sq m split-risk retail investment offers immediate add-value potential, with long-term options for intensive residential redevelopment. The property is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday, 14 September unless sold prior.

  • One of the largest remaining greenfield sites in Henderson, located at 158-164 Central Park Drive (pictured centre). The 3.14ha block of freehold industrial, commercial and retail development land is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Thursday, 7 September unless sold earlier.

  • Australasian clothing company AS Colour’s state-of-the-art head office and distribution facility at 84 Central Park Drive (pictured below), Henderson. The 6,735sq m freehold industrial investment is for sale by deadline private treaty closing at 4pm on Wednesday, 6 September, unless sold prior.

Charles Cooper, Colliers International’s Auckland Managing Director, says Coburn’s recent appointment to the West Auckland office will bring strong leadership and solid expertise to the market.

“Josh has an exemplary track record in property, and a broad range of strong relationships with clients, developers and colleagues.

“We’re thrilled to have someone of his capabilities leading the West Auckland team.”

Cooper says the team’s local expertise is strengthened by Site Sales brokers Sean Finnegan and Craig Smith, who previously worked at Colliers’ West Auckland office.

“Sean and Craig know the West inside out,” he says.

Coburn brings more than 14 years of property experience to the role.

His property career began in 2003 at Colliers International, where he has transacted more than $700 million in commercial property.

Coburn gained crucial West Auckland experience while based at Colliers’ North Shore office, which covered northern and northwestern Auckland before the dedicated West Auckland office opened last year.

Coburn also spent four years at Haydn & Rollett Construction, where he focused on the development of commercial and industrial property joint ventures, as well as commercial-scale residential opportunities.

He returned to Colliers International in 2015 to establish the Site Sales team, which specialises in identifying development opportunities including land subdivisions and apartment development and conversion sites.

Colliers International’s West Auckland office is the first and only dedicated commercial property office located in West Auckland.

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