Customs House is one unique commercial property currently for sale within the Waterfront PDA.
Customs House is one unique commercial property currently for sale within the Waterfront PDA. CONTRIBUTED

Industrial property surge is a sign of recovery

AS MACKAY'S economy comes back to life the industrial land market is enjoying a recovery period.

Vacant land and sheds across Mackay, and particularly Paget, are being snapped up, leaving few vacancies and options available to businesses.

Explore Property's commercial director, Jordan Miller, primarily works in this space and has noticed a market acceleration in the past few years.

"In February 2017, there were 77,000 sq m of available industrial sheds available for purchase or lease in the region. The figure has now dropped to 18,000 sq m. This is a 76 per cent reduction," Mr Miller said.

"This demand has impacted the price of vacant industrial land, with buyers purchasing land and building their own sheds, as they have been unable to purchase or lease properties with established sheds.

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Mr Miller said in 2016 the average per-square-metre rate for industrial land was $95, with 50 lots available.

"Now the square-metre rate has risen to $130 and there are only 15 lots available for purchase," he said.

Mr Miller said this was mostly due to the expansion of businesses across the region which now required more space.

"Currently there are no available lots for sale within precinct three of the Waterfront PDA," Mr Miller said.

"There are a few properties just outside of the precinct. We did have an industrial property listed within the precinct earlier this year and had received inquiries from Sydney- and Melbourne-based investors.

"These particular investors could foresee potential return in the years ahead, if they could further develop the land under the PDA. The owner decided to keep the property in the end, as it was a great investment."

Interest from developers looking to purchase properties within the PDA was beginning to take off, Mr Miller said.

"Discussions with these developers have been focused on purchasing land now and holding onto it as the market improves and projects become economically viable," he said.

"As the number of projects within the PDA grows, it will attract population to the region, increasing demand for residential, commercial and hospitality properties, which will further fuel development and investment."

He believes an 'anchor property' would be key for the enterprise precinct to take off.

"Precinct three needs one well-known business to be an anchor to the area. This property will set the tone and standard and will be a drawcard for other businesses to follow the lead.

"The light industrial area around East Victoria Street is already a thriving retail and services industry area, with some great businesses established there.

"The precinct will continue to evolve as the PDA vision comes to fruition."