Q&A with Neville Smith
Congratulations on reaching your first anniversary as a partner with Burgess Rawson. How has your experience been so far?
“Joining this well-established and efficient team has been an honour. As someone who admired the company from the outside, I can confidently say that they are truly the best in the business.
As Australia’s largest privately owned commercial agency, it has been highly rewarding to witness our expansion into different regions and along the eastern seaboard. We consistently deliver outstanding results for our clients, and I feel privileged to be a part of this journey.”
How has the Townsville office progressed over the past year?
“Our Townsville office has truly established itself as the leader in the industry. In fact, Burgess Rawson now boasts more sold listings on the first two pages of RealCommercial.com.au than all other agencies combined.
Earlier this year, our Townsville office had more investment properties listed for sale than any of our competitors, with an impressive portfolio valued at circa $50 million.”
Can you share any highlights from the past year?
“One of the major highlights of this year was the successful transaction of the BWS in Belgian Gardens. We achieved an incredible return of 4.41%, surpassing the reserve by an impressive 30%.
The sale represented one of the tightest yields achieved this year for a North Queensland asset.”
What makes Townsville commercial property a solid investment?
“Townsville’s commercial property market offers a solid investment opportunity due to several factors.
This city is considered the capital of Northern Queensland and has a strong presence of major government occupiers, such as the largest defense base in the country, major health facilities, and a multi-faceted seaport.
Additionally, Townsville’s position as the end of the road for road freight, means that all major operators have established distribution centres in the city to serve the entire North Queensland district.
This combination of government support and essential infrastructure makes Townsville a reliable and promising investment destination.”
What’s the most interesting regional asset you’ve sold and why?
“Over my 19 years in the industry, there have been many interesting transactions, but two assets stand out. The first is the iconic Holiday Inn on Flinders Street, also known as “The Sugar Shaker”. Its unique design and prominent location make it a remarkable asset.
The second is the State Government Headquarters, which was designed to also serve as the North Queensland Recovery Centre. This property was constructed to operate autonomously without mains supply of power and water for up to five days.”
What’s your outlook for the future of commercial real estate in Queensland?
“Looking ahead, we see a promising landscape for the sunny state’s commercial market.
Queensland is poised to maintain its position as Australia’s premier agricultural hub, thanks to substantial investments flowing in from various levels of government.
This robust support is expected to fuel ongoing population and economic growth, ultimately propelling Queensland ahead of other states in terms of overall development.
This momentum will translate into a substantial uptick in construction activities and private investments across a spectrum of sectors, including housing, healthcare, transportation, education, and retail.
The expansion in these key areas will be nothing short of remarkable.
Over the next 10 to 15 years, this expansion is forecasted to persist, solidifying North Queensland’s status as a thriving and dynamic region.
The region’s trajectory suggests exciting opportunities on the horizon for the commercial real estate sector, making it an attractive and lucrative destination for investors and businesses alike.”