Retail property transactions heat up, AJD back on the market

Retail property continues to headline the property market with a number of deals and listings going through in the past week. Stockland Group (ASX: SGP) is looking to sell a 50% stake in its $800M Shellharbour Shopping Centre asset on the NSW south coast, Abacus Property Group (ASX: ABP) is looking to sell The Village in Bacchus Marsh, Victoria for around $70M and Cerno Group has placed the Hurstville Central centre on the market for around $130M.

During the week Asia Pacific Data Centres Group (ASX: AJD) announced that its preferred purchaser has withdrawn its offer to purchase the trust’s assets for $280M. AJD will now commence discussions for the sale of the three asset portfolio to remaining under bidders. Uncertainty now remains over the ownership of the trust with 360 Capital Group (ASX: TGP) owning 67.3% and the tenant NEXTDC (ASX: NXT) owning 29.2%. Shares in AJD are trading at just under $2.00, slightly above prior takeover offers by TGP (at $1.95) and NXT (at $1.87) and whilst neither party appears willing to sell to each other, a third party sale would seem the obvious solution.

The RBA has held the cash rate at 1.50% as its March 2018 meeting. The cash rate has been at the 1.50% level since August 2016.

The industrial sector continues to benefit from the influx of global retailers with US retail giant Costco announcing a new joint venture partnership with Goodman Group (ASX: GMG) and Brickworks (ASX: BKW) to develop its $77M National Distribution Centre at Oakdale Industrial Estate. Earlier in the week Costco received planning permission from the NSW Government to develop its new 14 ha depot. The facility will be developed over two stages and once complete, will be Costco’s largest facility in Australia.