Chinese Buyers Pounce Again In Chelsea

Melbourne developers Lascorp Development Group have sold the Chelsea Beach Arcade to an offshore Chinese investor for $8.3 million.

The sale, which was struck on a sharp passing yield of 6.3 per cent, follows Lascorp’s recent sale of Woolworths Culburra Beach.

The two level Chelsea Beach Arcade is located on the beach side of Chelsea and comprises 11 specialty retailers, including Anytime Fitness, BWS and Bakers Delight.

The sale comes off the back of a strong two month period for sub $10m Victorian retail investments, with other recent sales including Strathfieldsaye Plaza (sold for $6.75m to a local buyer), 68-82 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury (sold at auction for $8.9m to a local Chinese investor), Oakleigh IGA (sold prior to auction for $3m to an offshore Chinese investor) and Gisborne Foodworks (sold for $7m to an offshore Chinese investor).

Mark Wizel, Justin Dowers and Rorey James, of CBRE Victorian Retail Investments, negotiated the sales.

Mr Wizel said: “We are experiencing significant demand from offshore investors seeking secure, income producing investments. This includes a growing number of Chinese investors, who are looking outside of the Melbourne CBD and becoming increasingly comfortable with outer metropolitan locations, particularly those underpinned by strong fundamentals.“

“Chelsea Beach Arcade in particular was a very attractive offering for offshore Chinese investors, given its waterfront location and the convenience of its location relative to the neighbouring supermarket and train station. Chinese buyers focus on long term growth and this asset provided for that given its aforementioned attributes,” Mr Wizel said.

He also noted: “We are seeing a shift by offshore investors from development sites to more income producing and secure assets, driven by the recent turmoil in the Chinese equity market and the recent devaluation of the yuan.”

CBRE’s Justin Dowers said the recent spike in sub $10m retail investment sales signalled the confidence of both offshore and locally based investors, with offshore buyers capitalising on the lowest Australian dollar in six years and local buyers taking advantage of the lowest interest rates in history.

Mr James added that the sales of Strathfieldsaye IGA and Foodworks Gisborne, both regionally located properties which transacted to mainland Chinese buyers, were a sign of things to come and in line with the heightened level of offshore enquiry that has been received in 2015.