Toowoomba’s Investment Appeal To Further Entice Interstate Interest
Investment returns on Toowoomba commercial property will continue to attract the interest of southern investors, a recent report by LJ Hooker Commercial has tipped.
While commercial landlords across the region have typically been locals, Sydney and Melbourne investors are expected to turn their attention to Toowoomba and the Darling Downs where infrastructure additions have supported strong yields.
According to LJ Hooker Commercial’s 2023 Toowoomba Market Monitor, yields for industrial property across the region hovered between 6-7%; strata office space returns varied between 6.75-7.25%; and retail assets fetched 7-7.5%.
In comparison, Sydney and Melbourne commercial property across the asset classes commonly achieved returns that were 100-150 basis points lower than what’s on offer in Toowoomba.
“Local investors will always control the lion’s share of commercial property assets in the region – that won’t change,” said Mr Stewart. “But there are southern investors with existing interests in the area and that will increase as inflationary pressures encourage investors to get the most out of their property portfolios.”
Mr Stewart said the addition of major infrastructure over the last decade, including the Second Range Crossing and the Wellcamp Airport, had underpinned efficiencies for business operators, especially those in transport and logistics.
“The airport’s regular, direct flights to Sydney and Melbourne, have also made the city more appealing for investors,” said Mr Stewart. “Being able to jump on a plane from Sydney or Melbourne and inspect an asset in person within a couple of hours is very important.”
Mr Stewart said the new Toowoomba Hospital would be the next catalyst for growth in the city, encouraging more medical and allied health operators to establish operations in the region.
The Monitor also found that the education and training sector was emerging as a key employer in the region.
In addition to schools and the University of Southern Queensland, private training operators – including the Qantas Group Pilot Academy – were diversifying the workforce.
Private training operators were also preparing workers for well operations and other critical roles in South-West Queensland’s mining and gas industries where activity remains strong.
In only 12 months, education and training increased its share of the workforce from 6.8% to 10.1%.
“There are economic headwinds still ahead for Australia, but Toowoomba has the infrastructure, affordability, diversification in industries and a lifestyle to withstand the challenges better than most regional centres,” said Mr Stewart.
“This will also help underpin investment over the coming years."