Brisbane Industrial Market

Issue 10, April 2014

Port of Brisbane

The industrial property market has, and will continue to have, a catalyst effect on Brisbane.

The industrial property market has, and will continue to have, a catalyst effect on employment growth, enterprise investment, and population growth within Brisbane.

Over the past 12 months and on the back of stronger Queensland imports and wholesale trade, there has been increased demand for industrial space.

Brisbane is set to move up another notch in terms of its industrial capacity due to the development of its infrastructure support framework, in particular transport infrastructure.

Not only is this infrastructure in place but it is strategically positioned in relation to servicing the local and national market. Future infrastructure investment will be required to enable the local industrial market to capitalise on opportunities created at the regional, state, national, and south-east Asian level.

Key drivers and global forces

In a recent publication by MacroPlan Dimasi’s executive chairman Brian Haratsis, the key drivers of Property Markets to 2020 were examined.

From 2015 to 2030, Australia will be transformed by four primary drivers; Ageing and health, Information technology, Globalisation, and Exports (AIGE factors), and these drivers will be facilitated by information and communication technology.

Understanding these primary drivers and how they relate to the industrial market is imperative for future growth in this sector.

Globalisation will restructure metropolitan and regional Australia, particularly in terms of freight and logistics.  In this context, and on the back of significant infrastructure investment, South-East Queensland is well positioned to respond.

Global freight and logistics chains are primary city shapers.  Currently, the freight and logistics sector is being driven by a number of global forces. These forces include:

  • Reduced tariffs
  • Free trade agreements
  • Increased competition
  • Improved infrastructure
  • E-commerce (internet retail)
  • Population growth

As a result of these forces, international trade is rapidly increasing. Australia's trade has a healthy future growth forecast of 129 per cent by 2025, almost double the global rate (73 per cent), and exceeding Asia (96 per cent) over the next 15 years, according to HSBC Trade Connections.

Australia will perform particularly well in the next five years when trade growth will hit 7.7 per cent annually, almost four times world growth (2 per cent in those years).

The gateway

Traditionally, industrial precincts are often represented by large isolated sheds connected by highway infrastructure or a stand-alone freight rail interchange. There is limited opportunity for vertical business integration and often limited support for multimodal.

Future industrial precincts are emerging as integrated business facilities supporting vertical business integration. Facilities are also being located and designed to integrate multiple forms of transportation including air, rail, sea and road.

Over time it is expected that continual industry and sectoral change will require different models for industrial hubs than those required today.

The local industrial market will continue to align itself with the opportunities presented around Brisbane’s infrastructure framework.

A classic example of this is demonstrated around the Australia Trade Coast precinct on the back of infrastructure investment associated with both the Brisbane Airport expansion and further Port of Brisbane development.

Major logistics, transportation depots, fabrication and assembly, storage, and a range of large industrial land uses continue to be established along, and adjacent to, the Pacific Motorway.

Companies that have traditionally been based in the inner-Brisbane areas have progressively relocated to positions close to Brisbane’s new transport infrastructure.

In turn this gives rise to further metropolitan restructuring across Brisbane, enabling other sectors to move into inner Brisbane areas that have been left vacated.

New investment in residential, retail, showrooms, business support, leisure, and mixed employment centres is now being seen in what was formerly an industrial area.

The gentrification of inner-Brisbane suburbs such as South Brisbane, West End, Paddington, Teneriffe, and Newstead is a classic example of this, with significant white collar employment now being located in these accessible (near CBD) locations.

The Brisbane region is the gateway for intra and interstate trade, and is a key point for international trade with overseas markets. In South-East Queensland, population growth, economic activity, and globalisation will continue to be the key drivers of industrial demand.

To order your copy of Beyond the Fringe: Understanding, Planning and Profiting from Australia’s Property Markets in 2020, written by Brian Haratsis, contact (07) 3221 8166.

Media Contact: Michael Tilt, Chief Executive Officer. (07) 3221 8166