Laundy Hotels continues to make moves in its pub portfolio, offloading the Swansea Hotel to North Coast-based Hunter Group Holdings.
Although pricing for the Lake Macquarie pub was not disclosed, the Laundy family—the nation’s largest private hotel owner—is understood to have made a marked improvement on the $13 million it paid for the hotel in 2016.
The transaction follows the Laundys’ recent purchase of Byron Bay’s The Farm as part a long-term partnership with The Sydney Collective.
The large-format Swansea Hotel is located on a retail strip lining the Pacific Highway between Newcastle and the Central Coast.
The 3,235sq m site has 24-hour trading approval, dining, accommodation and 30 gaming machines.
In the past few years, Justine Laundy renovated and reconfigured the pub, resulting in an “uptick in trading performance and overall asset value” through repurposing a building area which had been historically leased to a third party.
Vendor Arthur Laundy said Laundy Hotels continued to make moves in the hospitality industry despite the pandemic.
“We plan to be active in this environment both in terms of reviewing opportunities to buy and sell assets,” Laundy said.
“Sitting still at this point in time isn’t an option for us, and arguably shouldn’t be for anyone else. ”
Swansea Hotel is the ninth property for Hunter Group Holdings whose portfolio includes pubs in Singleton, Newcastle and Maitland.
The sale also marks fifth hotel transaction in 18 months for HTL Property along with Kincumber Hotel also picked up by Hunter Group Holdings for $14.5 million; Lakeside Village Tavern for $12 million; The Kent Hotel at $24.5 million and the Elanora Hotel which went for $23.5 million.
HTL national director Dan Dragicevich said the market has come back, and quality properties are selling as well as they were in 2019.
“There’s a bit of positivity around, the pubs are open and trading and it’s a pretty low interest environment,” Dragicevich said.
“This transaction highlights another example of the crystallisation of A-grade hotel values from pre-Covid levels until now.
“We remain encouraged by the buoyancy regarding market activity over recent months, and the pronounced snap-back in positive market sentiment has only served to underline a resiliency and attractiveness for pubs being highly credible investment-grade assets.”
Dragicevich said that while the Swansea Hotel sale was concluded off-market, HTL is already preparing a number of national public campaigns to run before the end of the year.