Commercial property investor confidence at two-year high

Confidence at a net positive 26 per cent nationally, with an uptick for retail

Willis Bond & Co’s Cuba Precinct development in Te Aro, Wellington, is due to deliver 2,250sq m of new retail space from Q1 2020.
Confidence in Wellington’s retail sector has seen a big uptick. Willis Bond & Co’s Cuba Precinct development in Te Aro, Wellington, will deliver 2,250sq m of new retail space.

Investor confidence in New Zealand’s commercial property market is at a two-year high, new research shows.

Colliers International’s latest quarterly survey found national commercial property investor confidence reached a net positive 26 per cent in the December 2018 quarter.

Ten out of the 12 regions surveyed recorded a net positive score (optimists minus pessimists).

Confidence is particularly strong in Tauranga/Mt Maunganui, which has eclipsed Queenstown in investor confidence for the first time in almost four years.

Tauranga/Mt Maunganui had the highest net positive score at 57 per cent, up 6 percentage points from 51 per cent the previous quarter.

Queenstown slipped to second place after topping the survey for the last 15 consecutive quarters.

Confidence dipped to net positive 46 per cent, down 11 percentage points from 57 per cent the previous quarter.

The top five was rounded out by Wellington (41 per cent net positive) and Auckland and Nelson (39 per cent each).

Simon Clark, Managing Director of Colliers International Tauranga, says the results reflect Tauranga’s ongoing growth.

“Both Tauranga and The Mount are experiencing a major commercial property boom. 

“There’s record low vacancy across all the key commercial sectors – office, retail and industrial – which is driving down yields and pushing up rents.

“Investors see Tauranga as being more affordable than Auckland but offering equally strong fundamentals and returns.”

Nationally, retail property sentiment appears to be gaining positive momentum. 

Colliers International’s Director of Research and Communications, Chris Dibble, says retail has risen from a net negative rating to a net positive 4 per cent nationally.

“We saw a big uptick in confidence in Wellington’s retail sector in particular. Confidence increased from a net positive 12 per cent last quarter to 25 per cent in the latest quarter.”

Dibble says the industrial sector continues to flourish.

“Industrial is at an almost three-year high, at 46 per cent net positive nationally – the best result since the March 2015 quarter.

“All three main regions posted a positive gain in confidence relative to a quarter ago.” 

Dibble says it is much of the same story for the office sector.

“A net positive 29 per cent for the three main regions was recorded, up from 26 per cent last quarter.”

Dibble says investors voice government policy as one of the largest influences on investment performance. Not far behind is the health of economic conditions internationally. 

Colliers International’s latest quarterly Commercial Property Investor Confidence Survey drew on 1,636 survey responses.

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