Cast eyes further up the road

Thursday 10 September 2015

Written by Lachie Young, Geelong Advertiser – Real Estate

Geelong commercial properties are faring well, but as Lachie Young reports, canny investors can still find opportunities out of town in areas like Colac. They’ll need to be quick though, as two go under the hammer next week.

There has been plenty of positivity around town in recent months, with much of it coming on the strength of Geelong’s commercial market.

Subsequently, there is a fair bit of confidence being seen across the region, which has been reflected by some big sales and properties spending less time on the market. Certain areas are doing considerably well, while some agents have reported that a few vendors are holding off from putting commercial properties up for sale, deciding they would be better placed by holding on to them.

However, for those looking to buy and who might have been unable to find what they’re after in Geelong, it may not necessarily be the worst idea to take a look down the highway and assess what the market in Colac has to offer. That’s according to Burgess Rawson director Shaun Venables, who will take two Colac properties to auction at Crown casino next week as part of the company’s latest boardroom auction.

“We’ve sold a fair bit of property there over a 10-year period,” Mr Venables said. “In recent times we’ve been putconsidering selling should take note of the success other vendors in the area had experienced.

“People have their different motivations, but if anyone is thinking of selling at the moment, there is a real appetite for these sorts of things and now is the time,” he said. One of the properties to go to auction next Wednesday is at ‘‘We’ve sold a fair bit of property there (in Colac) over a 10-year period.”

Colac Calling: 130-132 Murray St and three shops at 202, 204 and 206 Murray St go to Auction at Crown Casino next Wednesday. Mr Venables explained “People are familiar with the location now, they recognise what a safe catchment it is and how far it extends right down to the coast. The new Coles supermarket under construction at the moment and the rebranded Home, which is now a Bunnings, are endorsements for what a strong location it is.”

The Colac region has received a boost in the form of the recent duplication of the Princes Highway, and has undoubtedly benefited from the burgeoning tourism industry. Towns in the Otways are thriving on the back of the tourist dollar, and with so many people coming into town, Mr Venables said the Colac retail sector had been an obvious benefactor.

He suggested property owners 130-132 Murray St — home to Westpac and Southern Rural Water — with the other being 202, 204 and 206 Murray St, two very different investments targeting very different markets. That assessment is underpinned by the respective annual returns each currently gets.

On the one hand, 130-132 Murray St, which sits on 589sqm, takes in $113,546 a year, while the three shops collectively return $37,842. “There’s no real crossover because there are different price points,” Mr Venables said. “The three shops on Murray St are just a neat and tidy investment on one title and three shops. “It’s an impressive building and there’s nothing really to do. “I’d expect $500,000 for that, but the bank is a $1.6 million-plus proposition, so they’re pretty different.”