Car Dealerships Top of the Property Agenda as Chadstone Ford Site Hits the Market
The strong appetite for car dealership assets is expected to generate a high level of interest across Australia and internationally for a once-in-a-generation landholding that is about to hit the market.
The 6,953 sqm freehold investment located just 13 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD in the well- established suburb of Chadstone, is the largest commercial 1 zoned site in the precinct.
But it’s the brand new 15-year leases to Chadstone Ford, Hyundai and Hungry Jack’s that is expected to drive most of the attention as investors continue to seek high performing tenants that can continue to trade strongly through the pandemic.
Co-agents Burgess Rawson and Gross Waddell ICR will market the sale and believe that in the new COVID marketplace, investors are looking for big name tenants in secure asset classes; prominent locations; and strong future development potential.
Burgess Rawson Partner Billy Holderhead said that the Chadstone site ticks all the boxes as more savvy investors have turned to the automotive sector over the past 18 months.
“The core fundamentals of the auto sector remain steadfast. Long term leases, large landholdings with high profile exposure, secure income and favorable planning controls ensuring significant future development upside,” Mr Holderhead said. “The Chadstone Ford and Hyundai site is a great example.”
Gross Waddell ICR Director Danny Clark said a number of key drivers have seen the car sales industry skyrocket since COVID reached Australian shores.
“Record profits and a high volume of car sales have combined with supply issues to create the perfect storm for the sector,” said Mr Clark. “The high demand for cars has directly translated to increased appeal for automotive investments.”
The auto sector is booming with consecutive months of growth with half yearly results revealing cumulative January to June 2021 sales up by 28.3% over the first half of 2020 to 567,468 sales.
Australians are also paying more to secure a car with used cars prices up 40% compared to February 2020; and new car prices increasing by 7.4% over the past 12 months.
David Buckley, Partner at advisory firm Fordham Group, Australia’s leading car dealership accountant and consultant, said several factors are contributing to this trend.
“During the past 18 months or so, dealership profits have doubled or in some cases tripled,” said Mr Buckley.
In fact, profit results from two of Australia’s leading, ASX-listed dealerships have increased 4-fold and even 17-fold.
In the last financial year, Peter Warren Automotive sold 30,000 vehicles achieving a net profit of $37.5 million. This is 400% up on last year. In addition, Eagers Automotive also reported huge results, with net profit increasing to $202 million from $11.8 million a year ago.
Mr Buckley added it is a classic supply versus demand scenario. COVID-related logistic issues and a severe lack of semiconductors have brought about supply shortages from all manufacturers in Australia.
“Demand for cars has rocketed because of a severe 60% drop in public transport use as commuters seek to avoid exposure; a growing move to domestic road travel for holidays; and a significant influx of expats returning home.”
Peter Warren Automotive CEO Mark Weaver recently stated that “there is still pent-up demand and people are deferring spending for a while and will be back with a vengeance later in 2021.”
Mr Buckley added that a large number of dealership businesses have transacted during the COVID period with larger players looking for opportunities to consolidate their operations.
“Large groups and listed corporations are actively advertising and pursuing dealership businesses and some businesses that were worth $5 million two years ago are worth $10 million today,” he said. “These favourable trading conditions for dealership businesses are not abating.”
Robert Gattereder, CEO of Preston Motor Group who have held the property since 2012, said with such favourable market conditions, it was the opportune time to divest.
“Chadstone is a lovely property however we are not in the property investment business, we are in the automotive business,” he said. “When we decided to divest of our interest in the dealership, the property became non-core and as more and more approaches were made to our company from investors wanting to buy the asset, we thought it best to run a process to select an estate agent to represent our divestment plan.”
The sale of the Chadstone Ford, Hyundai and Hungry Jack’s freehold investment will be handled by Gross Waddell ICR and Burgess Rawson in conjunction. The Expressions of Interest campaign will close on 15 October and the owners of the property are being advised by Mark Wizel of Advise Transact.
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About Advise Transact
Founded by Mark Wizel, Advise Transact is a boutique commercial property advisory firm which specializes in providing bespoke advice to commercial property owners. At its core of operation sits a focus on strategy and patient execution to assist in maximizing outcomes across the spectrum of all faces of commercial property ownership and divestment. For further information please visit www.advisetransact.com.au
About Burgess Rawson
Burgess Rawson is the largest locally owned commercial agency in Australia. Our offices are all owned by the principals in each state providing clients with direct access to decision makers and a highly motivated and stable operation. Our emphasis on long-term relationships is particularly important. Since inception in 1975, we have expanded our operations across Australia, with an interstate network of offices as well as international and regional affiliations. www.burgessrawson.com.au
About Gross Waddell ICR
Gross Waddell ICR presents highly experienced professionals with over 27 years of success in the marketing and sale of key commercial assets and developments around Victoria and Australia.
The Gross Waddell ICR difference is that you deal with the Principals and Partners of the business who are committed to ensuring an excellent outcome is achieved. Throughout our time, we have worked closely with an array of private vendors, family offices, government agencies and corporate institutions. www.gwicr.com.au