Market Insights

08.05.2020

South Melbourne Emerald Hill Terrace Sells for the Second Time in Just 18 Months, The Result Is Positive!

On 28th April 2020, amid the COVID-19 global pandemic, an iconic piece of South Melbourne history has changed hands.

336 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne, part of the Emerald Hill Terraces, has sold in an off-market process for $2,940,000.

The Emerald Hill Terraces comprises a row of 15 shops along Clarendon Street, South Melbourne (between Bank & Park Street) dating back to the late 1880’s. In 2016 the process of subdivision began, and the shops were progressively sold as induvial investments.

336 Clarendon Street, South Melbourne is one of the 15 properties that make up the Victorian era shop fronts. A double story building occupied by Red Cross and a separate level 1 apartment are positioned on the 203sqm* landholding. 

The sale of 336 Clarendon Street to a private investor, a retired real estate agent, represents a new benchmark yield (3.78%) and land rate ($14,483/sqm) for South Melbourne’s Emerald Hill Terraces.

Records state that the property was initially purchased in December 2018 for $2,630,000, indicating that over an 18 month period the owner realised a $310,000 uplift in value.

Rorey James, Nic Hage & JJ Heng from the CBRE Melbourne Strip Retail Investments team managed the off-market sales process.

“The vendors knew they had bought it well at the time, and without making any improvements or bettering the financial position of the asset opted to sell after just 18 months of ownership” Mr James added.

“Going into the process and knowing that very few strip retail assets have sold amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we were admittedly unsure where values would sit”.

Nic Hage from CBRE noted “From the very start of the process, we were blown away by the positivity of buyers, about the property and the overall health of the Melbourne commercial property market itself.”

“Within two weeks we were dealing with four parties with strong interest, including the eventual buyer who has been in the property industry since the early 1980s.

“It became apparent early in the process that a return of close to 4% would be attainable, with a lack of available good quality stock and strong fundamentals of the asset driving factors.”

“Needless to say, the vendors and our team were very happy with the result and overall response from the market”.

Mr Hage added “We had been working this buyer for 3 months, who had a strong desire to purchase commercial property as they were achieving extremely low (circa 1.5%) returns from cash in the banks. The financial improvement gained through a commercial investment was a major drawcard.”

Mr James mentioned “The feeling amongst many of these suburban strips is that COVID-19 may be a blessing in a somewhat cruel disguise, with consumers changing the way they behave due to social distancing.”

”If this becomes a more permanent lifestyle change, we would undoubtably see larger numbers of people flock to their local open air shopping strips as opposed to crowded multi-level retail complexes.”  

The sale of 336 Clarendon Street marks the 6th Emerald Hill Terrace transaction since March 2018, with 336 Clarendon Street transacting twice.

“The South Melbourne precinct continues to be of high demand to investors, with the inner-city location, strength of retail trade and substantial surrounding developments (office and residential) being driving factors” – JJ Heng 

Noted below is a brief summary of Emerald Hill Terrace activity:

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About CBRE Group, Inc.

CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE), a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (based on 2019 revenue). The company has more than 100,000 employees (excluding affiliates) and serves real estate investors and occupiers through more than 530 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. CBRE offers a broad range of integrated services, including facilities, transaction and project management; property management; investment management; appraisal and valuation; property leasing; strategic consulting; property sales; mortgage services and development services. Please visit our website at www.cbre.com.

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