David Brisk and Nick Evans, Directors at Colliers Brisbane industrial team discuss their careers to date, current trends in Brisbane, and what the future holds for the city ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games.
In a recent issue of MHD, we explored the extraordinary career of Gavin Bishop, Managing Director of Industrial & Head of Industrial Capital Markets Australia at Colliers.
What was striking about Gavin’s discussion of his career was that he had started out at the ground level, as a graduate, and over two decades worked his way up through Colliers to become its national leader in the Industrial real estate space. Gavin added that his experience was one that he and the Colliers team work hard to replicate, bringing on youngsters and developing their potential to the utmost.
And to go by the brief careers of Colliers Directors Nick Evans and David Brisk, one suspects that Gavin’s experience is indeed one that will be replicated in future.
Nick and David, young and knowledgeable, lead the Brisbane Industrial team. Nicholas has been with Colliers for more than five years, and David roughly three-and-a-half.
Both followed a similar path to Colliers. Nick started at a smaller agency before being spotted by Colliers as a unique talent; and David, too, was recruited to Colliers from a smaller agency. Now the pair oversee a team of ten in Brisbane, although their concerns are not limited to that city alone.
“Nick and I have a particular focus with institutional developers and are currently appointed on behalf of ESR, GPT, Mapletree, Logos, Frasers and Charter Hall,” David says. “We also work in closely with our broader Capital Markets team out of Sydney and also and tie it in with our broader, more senior leasing colleagues in Victoria and Sydney, too.”
Building off David’s latter point, Nick notes that one of the things both of them value about Colliers is the national connectivity of its industrial team.
“We’ve got strength all up and down the eastern seaboard, with multiple offices in Sydney and Melbourne,” Nick says. “This allows us to share intel between cities and teams really quickly, which greatly adds strength to our broader platform. As a result, no matter which team you’re in, you have a broader contextual knowledge of the market – and all the geographically disparate teams form one big team focused on shared values and goals.”
BRISBANE TRENDS AND PROSPECTS
David notes a significant trend that he’s seen in Queensland is how tightly held the broader market is with vacancy levels at all time lows.
“Vacancy across the broader market has tightened significantly. There is a lot of discussion around rental growth to come which we agree with, and are starting to see in the 1000-5000sqm size range already. Yields and land values are also at record levels”.
Nick says that we’re experiencing the strongest Brisbane industrial market in a generation.
“Monster occupier demand off the back of COVID, e-commerce, disrupted supply chains – these factors have driven a lot of groups to hold more stock locally,” he says. “Moving from just-in-time to just-in-case inventory models naturally necessitates a larger industrial footprint. Accelerated demand has led to very rapid uptake. Last year, we saw 650,000 square metres of leasing deals across Brisbane, compared to a normal year, which is more in the 400,000 to 450,000 range.”
He adds that this is a significant change for Brisbane, as the city now faces a lack of land supply, whereas traditionally Brisbane wasn’t as pressed for supply as cities like Melbourne and Sydney. “Zoned industrial land in Brisbane is at a real premium at the moment.”
For evidence of this trend, Nick and David recently settled $17.2 million worth of industrial land in Stapylton within the Yatala Enterprise Area. .
“It was an off-market amalgamation of two neighbouring owners totalling 7.4 hectares for a future industrial subdivision,” he says. “And that land value had almost quadrupled in four years for both of those owners – which is indicative of the scarcity of zoned industrial land supply.”
WHAT LIES AHEAD FOR BRISBANE?
Both David and Nick forecast continued demand for industrial property in Brisbane, particularly on the back of the announcement that the 2032 Olympics will be held in Brisbane. “That is a long-term driver which will support the market,” David says.
Nicholas expands on this point.
“We’ll have inland rail linking Melbourne to Brisbane, which will potentially unlock some new industrial land,” he says. “There’s a raft of infrastructure projects in the pipeline off the back of the 2032 Olympics, which again will increase demand for industrials.”
And of course, as elsewhere, David and Nick foresee continued increasing adoption of e-commerce transactions. “We’re currently at roughly 12.5 per cent of retail transactions occurring online,” Nick says. “Within five years we anticipate that figure will be 20 per cent. In short – we can’t envisage a world where industrial demand will be slowing down.”
The pair close out our discussion by noting that they are about to launch marketing for a 30-hectare industrial estate in the Yatala Enterprise Area in Stapylton. The estate is part of the Yatala Enterprise Area, within the Gold Coast City Council area, and offers a prime opportunity consisting of 36 varying sized blocks, zoned for Medium Impact Industry users.
“We’re about to bring an industrial estate online there with small blocks from 4000 square metres up to two-and-a-half hectares,” Nick says. “So, between the two of us, it’s an upcoming project we’re very excited about.”
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