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Hotel investors still call Australia home

Domestic investors have dominated the Australian hotel investment market by purchasing 100% of major hotels sold over…

Domestic investors have dominated the Australian hotel investment market by purchasing 100% of major hotels sold over the six months to June 2003. According to Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, who track major hotel sales (over A$5 million), Australian investors have spent a total of $348.9 million to secure eight hotels comprising 1,948 rooms.

Mr Geordie Clark, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels said In previous years we have seen a preponderance of overseas investors particularly from Asian countries. For example, in the year 2002 Asian investors accounted for 69.7% of major hotel sales in Australia.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels predict an active second half of 2003. The firm was involved in over 80% of year to date hotel transactions, including the high profile Park Hyatt Sydney and Marriott Surfers Paradise sales.

On the purchasing side, buyers are seeing the opportunity to purchase hotels at what is perceived to be the bottom of the hotel cycle in many cities, in particular Sydney said Mr Clark. Conversely, it is an opportune time for some Asian owners to liquidate their holding due to the favourable exchange rate between the Australian dollar and a number of Asian currencies.

So far this year, buyers of 5 star hotels have been institutional investors whilst 3-4 star hotels have been purchased by high net worth individuals and increasingly by private syndicates. Hotel owner operators have also taken advantage of the market cycle to obtain a strategic foothold in key markets added Mr Mark Durran, Senior Vice President, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

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