27 January 2011 – CB Richard Ellis will co-ordinate the Property Industry Flood Relief Benefit for the Queensland floods with the Property Council of Australia, supported by The Australian Property Institute, HIA, Master Builders, Planning Institute Australia, Shopping Centre Council of Australia and the Urban Development Institute of Australia.

The function will be  at Friday’s at the Riverside Centre, the use of which has been donated by the Weller Group.

CBRE’s senior managing director, Queensland, Bruce Baker said up to 30 sponsors were being sought for the function, which will include a major charity auction.  More than a dozen property groups have already agreed to each provide $10,000 in sponsorship.

“We have had an overwhelming response from the likes of developers, fund managers and property agencies,” Mr Baker said.

“The devastation caused by the recent floods in Queensland has really galvanised our clients and peers to join together to support a very worthy cause. As a group we can make a difference and the support we have received demonstrates the strong spirit within our industry.”

Landlords resilient and committed to Brisbane survey finds

But while the clean up continues for some people devastated by the floods, the commercial property market at least has been resilient.

A post flood assessment conducted by CBRE of 16 landlords who are owners of some of the largest office buildings in the Brisbane CBD and City Fringe markets showed landlords had a “business as usual” attitude, CBRE said.

Senior managing director, Queensland Bruce Baker said owners “agreed Brisbane was a place where they still wanted to own office buildings and they would consider investing more in commercial properties in the future.

“While the Queensland economy was only starting to get moving again after the global financial crisis, that momentum will return and the long term prospects for the Brisbane commercial property market remain positive.”

However, CBRE executive director, global research and consulting Kevin Stanley said the recent floods were “likely to slow short term investment activity, as owners focused more on returning buildings to operation, rather than considering the bigger issues of the sale and/or acquisition of major assets.”

Mr Stanley said there were also likely to be some more gradual, long term impacts.

“Floods are not new to Brisbane, but over time unless they occur regularly, many members of the broader community tend to forget about the potential for flooding,” Mr Stanley said.

New building design to mitigate against future floods may increase the cost of commercial buildings, he said.  Longer term, the rebuilding phase would provide a boost to the economy.

The impact on other industries such as resources, agriculture and tourism throughout Queensland was likely to be much greater than the impact on the commercial property market in Brisbane, he said

“This recovery phase is likely to result in very different levels, timing and nature of economic activity than was previously expected.”

Mr Baker said the current view of landlords was that tenants might re-consider a flood-prone location, but only when their lease was up for renewal.

“Business continuity may also need to be re-examined but this wont necessarily mean moving out of a building,” Mr Baker said.

“Issues such as the cost of rents in the CBD will likely remain far more influential in business location over the long run.”

Staff reporters

editorial@thefifthestate.com.au