Region Group, Australia’s largest suburban shopping centre owner, has acquired a A$74m (€45m) asset in the nation’s capital from Mirvac.

Cooleman Court, the dual-supermarket neighbourhood centre in Canberra generates more than A$100m in sales annually.

Region Group CEO, Anthony Mellowes said: “Despite a quieter period for acquisitions, our ambition to grow our portfolio remains true.

“Our shopping centres form an essential part of daily life for many Australians, and Cooleman Court has widened our reach for the first time in the Canberra community.”

JLL’s head of retail investments, Sam Hatcher, who brokered the off-market transaction said dominant core neighbourhood centres were attracting significant capital because of their resilient income streams and long-term capital growth potential.

“Investors are seeking defensive assets in an environment where the macro outlook continues to be revised regularly.”

He added: “The demand is further heightened by rising construction and debt costs, outpacing the severely limited on-market supply. “The feasibility hurdle for delivering new development stock is very high. We believe rents for existing assets will continue to grow, and major tenants [supermarkets] are becoming more competitive to secure the right location, given the lack of new asset creation.”

In addition to demand from local investors, Nick Willis, JLL joint head of retail investment said: “We are now seeing the re-emergence of major offshore capital sources who are seeing value in the sector along with security in the diversified nature of the cashflow, underpinned by these factors.”

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