Centre Road Emerges As Investment Hotspot

Posted on 16th August 2022

High-performing Centre Road, Bentleigh is attracting investors as it emerges as one of Melbourne’s best-performing shopping strips.

In the space of eight days, Fitzroys’ Tom Fisher and David Bourke sold two primely positioned retail freeholds under the hammer on sharp yields of just 3% and 3.75% respectively.

In the first sale, an investor paid $2.26 million at 3% for 448 Centre Road, the home of popular healthier fish and chips specialists Hunky Dory on a long 7+7-year deal negotiated last year by Fisher.

The flexible 135sqm property is in the absolute prime of the strip, adjacent to a busy pedestrian crossing and near Bentleigh train station, allowing for maximum exposure.

“Investors are showing huge faith in bricks and mortar assets. Well-located properties with secure leases are delivering consistent, reliable cash flows amid sharemarket and residential market volatility,” Bourke said.

“Despite the recent interest rate rises we are continuing to generate strong enquiry and witness competitive bidding with tight yields in this market sector .”

Also selling was 434 Centre Road, owned by the vendor since 1980, for $1.98 million on a 3.75% yield. Flight Centre has been at the 180sqm building for over 20 years and has a lease expiring in June 2023 with no options.

“Investors and owner-occupiers competed for the property before it was purchased by a local investor. Investors were very confident in the longer-term prospects of finding a tenant given the current historically low vacancy and strong trading performance of Centre Road, and the property’s prime positioning in the strip,” Fisher said.

“Owner-occupiers competing for property is always a strong vote of confidence in the future of the location,” he added.

According to Fitzroys’ forthcoming Walk the Strip report, Centre Road, Bentleigh has one of the lowest vacancy rates of all of Melbourne’s famous shopping strips, tightening further in 2022 after already sitting lower than its pre-pandemic rate in 2021.

“Centre Road has proved the power of supermarket anchors with three supermarkets driving its outperformance over the past couple of years. The State Government’s rail crossing removal initiative has also made huge impact on the strip, enhancing its already-high accessibility, with a large volume of on-street and Council car parking, Bentleigh train station and multiple bus routes,” Fisher said.

The strip is set for further evolution with Glen Eira Council recently finalising plans for its Bentleigh Eat Street, which will see 2,400sqm of public space and side streets activated by cafés, restaurants, bars, outdoor seating, and supported by the extension of trading hours, and add depth to the linear retail strip.