Investors flock to Canberra, market show no signs of waning

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CANBERRA’S largest property developer, Geocon Group has recorded over 1,000 sales for the financial year totalling $438.5 million.

Total transactions in the last 12 months have equalled $823 million, with over 840 settlements recorded at a value of $385 million.

Among the sales were 850 exchanges in off-the-plan apartments sales to the value of $372 million, which will be settled by 2024.

Geocon Group’s managing director Nick Georgalis, who founded the company in 2007, said the sales results indicates the strength and appeal of the Canberra market, particularly with investors who made up 70% of sales.

“We have seen record sales in the past 12 months for apartments and the market should see the same increases in value for apartments over the next 12 months that we have seen in housing over the past 12,” Georgalis said.

The total was up from 325 apartments worth $141 million the previous financial year.

Georgalis said he put down the success to apartment pricing being attractive to investors, strong rental yields in Canberra’s stable rental market and strong capital growth.

Canberra is returning rental yields and capital growth of 8% respectively, he said. Domain’s Rent Report for the June quarter showed Canberra rents have recorded their fastest annual growth since 2007, and the city is now that nation’s most expensive.

Canberra ranked 17th globally for house price growth over the 12 months to March, according to Knight Frank.

Geocon will focus this new financial year on sales at its multi-staged master-planned community, WOVA which comprises 797 apartments built across four buildings ranging in height from two 12-storey building, one 16-storey building and a 24-storey tower.

The development will also incorporate a 53-room hotel, 2,415 sqm of retail space, lap pool and sauna, resident’s private cinema, co-working spaces, rooftop terrace, fitness studio, bar club lounge, and chef’s kitchen and dining room.

The precinct will also have a four-level basement car park for 1,000 car spaces.

There have been 255 sales in stage one since its launch in March.

Geocon has in excess of 963 active apartments currently or soon to be constructed with further projects in future planning. Earlier this year it secured backing from non-bank lender MaxCap for the third stage of Geocon’s $156 million Republic Precinct project in Canberra.

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