More overseas buyers are competing with local investors for supermarket assets.
Brands such as Coles, Woolworths and IGA are seen as safe assets and are also familiar places where investors and their families do their grocery shopping, a local agent says.
Of 13 supermarket sales in Victoria by CBRE in the past year, five have gone to overseas Asian investors and the remaining to local interests, listing agent Joseph Du Rieu said.
He noted that supermarket listings were limited and this was one reason they attracted keen interest with multiple bidders at auctions or multiple offers in private sales.
Mr Du Rieu said there was increased buyer confidence for single-tenanted retail investments since the federal election.
“Over the past 12 months we have noticed increased interest in supermarkets from Asian capital,” he added.
The Coles Lalor site recently sold under the hammer for $7.38 million to a local investor of Asian heritage.
There were two local underbidders for the supermarket, which takes up 40 per cent of the Lalor Plaza shopping centre.
It was the second major single-tenanted supermarket sale in Victoria and follows the $21.55 million purchase of Woolworths Lara in April.
Local Asian buyers also snapped up IGA Ringwood East for $7.34 million and paid $15.12 million or $2.62 million above reserve for Woolworths Scoresby last August.
And the Woolworths supermarket in Burwood East sold for $18.17 million to an overseas Chinese investor. This was $3 million more than where the property was declared on the market at the auction last August.
“While capital from China may be tightening, we are still noticing a high level of interest from Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, in securely leased, income-producing investments such as supermarkets and shopping centres,” CBRE agent Kevin Tong said.
“Chinese investment in commercial property is continuing to mature and grow in sophistication, marking a departure from the former focus on residential development.”