ASX-listed developer Stockland has pocketed $143 million from the sale of two Brisbane shopping centres, redirecting the proceeds into its office and industrial pipelines.
Economic headwinds, exacerbated by concerns around the growth of ecommerce and declining business confidence are weighing heavily on the sector.
The Stockland Cleveland shopping centre and the Toowong retail and commercial centre were sold to private investors, representing a 2.9 per cent premium to combined book value.
Economists are eyeing the plethora of retail assets hitting the market from big players, as anaemic rental growth, declining business confidence and a reversing wealth effect plague the sector.
A UBS survey of more than 14,000 consumers revealed a substantial decline in the shopping frequency at Australian malls.
UBS analysts said that they don’t anticipate the disposal queue of retail assets to clear in 2019.
Stockland chief executive Mark Steinert said that the sales align with the group’s strategy of divesting non-core assets.
“These transactions take our total asset sales for the current financial year to $256.1 million, representing 64 per cent of our target $400 million of divestments already achieved within the first nine months of the stated 24-month timeframe,” Steinert said.
Stockland commercial director Louise Mason said that the property giant is on track to achieve its target of $600 million of non-core retail divestments in order to target re-weighting into office and logistics.
“We continue to strategically reposition our centres, with a focus on customer experience, place-making and retail remixing towards growth categories, to ensure the resilience of our portfolio into the future.”
The two Brisbane centres are expected to settle by 30 June, 2019.