$10.2 Million For Cumberland Lorne Resort Shops

Just one of the 16 spaces is still available to go under the hammer at the January 24 auction, which will be held on-site at the resort, recognised as the premier tourism property on Victoria’s famed Great Ocean Road.

The retail spaces were offered to the market for the first time in 18 years, with the 15 already sold fetching between $300,000 and $1.65 million with yields in the range of 5.5 per cent to 6 per cent.

The remaining space measures about 120sqm and is expected to sell for about $600,000.

The sales are being handled by John Castran, of John H Castran Real Estate, on behalf of the vendor Trinity Development Group.

Trinity Development Group, the wholly owned development subsidiary of listed property group Trinity (ASX: TCQ) acquired the Cumberland Lorne Resort in late 2007.

It has strata-titled its 102 luxury apartments, which are situated above the retail component.

The first 51 freehold apartments have sold for a combined $30 million, with the final 51 apartments just released.  They are being marketed by John H Castran Real Estate and Great Ocean Road Real Estate Lorne.

Mr Castran said the current economic turmoil had seen investors return to blue chip commercial property.

“What we are seeing is people are hesitant to buy shares or park their money in the bank where they get no strong returns, so instead they are using their super funds to purchase quality commercial stock, especially in the $500,000 to $1 million bracket,” he said.

“Buyers have been confident in purchasing the retail spaces at Cumberland Lorne Resort because of its strong reputation and the quality of the tenants, which include Westpac, Bank of Melbourne and Lorne’s largest bakery, post office and surf shop.

“To have sold the majority of the premises prior to auction is an excellent result, especially given current market sentiment, and shows there is still demand for blue chip properties in excellent locations and at the right price.”

Mr Castran said no further commercial subdivisions were able to be developed in Lorne, which was further fuelling demand for the retail spaces.

Purchasers to date include existing tenants and local and Melbourne investors.

Trinity Development Group project partner Tim Douglas said the high profile nature of the resort had been a major drawcard for those purchasing the retail spaces and apartments.

“Cumberland Lorne Resort is the best known hotel in this part of the world and, as such, many of our buyers have already been familiar with the product before enquiring,” he said.

“Its location is also unmatched, just 100 metres from the beach and featuring superb views of the coastline.

“With development restrictions in place to protect Lorne’s national parks and beaches, there are very few new commercial or residential projects, boosting demand for existing stock.”

Mr Douglas said apartments in stage one achieved sale prices averaging $7000/sqm.

“The apartments offer solid returns, with the resort consistently achieving a year-round occupancy rate of 60 to 70 per cent,” he said.

“Investors have realised this is a rare opportunity to secure a slice of one of Victoria’s most well known tourism icons.”

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of realestatesource.com.au.

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