Victoria’s Regions Growth Story Spurs Commercial Property Market

Posted on 10th November 2021

The growth story of Victoria’s regional centres continues to generate notable commercial property transaction results.

Fitzroys’ Lewis Waddell, in conjunction with Ben Young and Andrew Lewis of Colliers Geelong, have sold the vacant property at 73 Barrabool Street, Highton for $3.35 million to an owner occupier, at a remarkable building rate of $16,262 per sqm and land rate of nearly $16,000 per sqm.

Zoned Commercial 1, the 206sqm corner building is situated in thriving Highton Village, which includes Woolworths, Bakers Delight, Amcal, Bendigo Bank and Cellarbrations, and has a frontage of 37 metres to Belle Vue Avenue.

“Low vacancy and supply in the area, and the property’s huge exposure were the main drawcards for investors and owner-occupiers alike, all of them wanting to be a part of the Geelong growth story,” Waddell said.

The Regional Australia Institute and Commonwealth Bank’s Regional Movers Index showed migration from capital cities to the regions grew 11% over 2020/21, with the the Greater Geelong area receiving a 26% increase in capital city movers during the period. The region also saw approvals for new housing up 48%.

Fitzroys recently just sold more than 1.67 hectares of land directly opposite The Village Warralily Shopping Centre in Armstrong Creek to Melbourne-based developers at around $550 per sqm, with the sites to be used for commercial and large-format retail projects.

The last public sale in the tightly-held Highton Village is believed to be the Woolworths supermarket freehold in 2017.

The Highton property was one of two regional sales by Fitzroys via online auction last week.

Waddell, also with Colliers Geelong’s Andrew Lewis and Lauchlan Waddell, sold another vacant commercial property at 210 Albert Street, in the Ballarat suburb of Sebastopol.

The 285sqm building on a 324sqm Commercial 1-zoned site sold for $710,000 to an investor. The property adjoins a new Coles supermarket development that Waddell said was a key driver of interest.

“Victoria’s regional centres continue to draw a lot of enquiry. We had more than 110 enquiries for both of these assets combined, and 40 people attending the online auctions.

“Regional centres are attracting Melburnians and Victorians in big numbers as flexible working arrangements are more widely practiced, while relative housing affordability, the ongoing enhancement of rail and road networks and the subsequent new lifestyle and hospitality amenity are also driving factors,” Waddell said.