Offshore Funds Cash up For Australian Farming Assets

INVESTORS from the United Kingdom are planning a $400 million fund to invest in cotton and wheat properties in eastern Australia.

To be known as Southern Agricultural Resources, and with Derek Shaw as a non executive director, the fund has reportedly identified for purchase 24 properties covering over 100,000 hectares in New South Wales and Queensland.

The fund has “been quietly shuffled around investment circles in the UK and USA” according to the AFR.

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Coalition Leads Investigation Into Recent Offshore Farm Investment

TONY Abbott is leading an investigation into foreign ownership of Australian property particularly farms), after a wave of complaints from agents and farmers that the current rules for offshore investors is resulting in much of the country being sold unbeknownst to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

The federal coalition announced the decision on Thursday (June 20) after calls from the Liberals, Nationals and the Greens for new rules to curb farm purchasers by offshore investors.

The Australian newspaper has recently reported a swag of foreign investors quietly snapping up major Australian properties. Buyers include China’s largest coal producer Shenhua and the Qatar  government.

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Melbourne’s Target Centre Sells For $89.2 Million

SINGAPORE based private investor Philip Lim is understood to be the mystery buyer paying $89.2 million for an asset on the footsteps of the Bourke Street Mall.

The Target Centre, at 222 – 244 Bourke Street was listed for sale earlier this year by Wesfarmers controlled Coles Group.

The asset includes 10,077 square metres of retail space, and an 11,113 square metre office component. Tenants include Vintage Cellars, Gloria Jeans, Jetstar and Monash College but Target occupies the majority of the building which returns $6.4 million in annual rent, and is said to be selling on a yield of 7.2 per cent.

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Doncaster Hill Site Sells For $3 Million

A CHINA-based developer is understood to have paid $3 million for a 1465 square metre development site near a prominent Doncaster Hill junction, about 13 kilometres east of town.

The 86 – 88 Tram Road sold with a permit for a six-level, 28-unit tower, each with balconies and car parks. The site is about 150 metres from the corner of busy Doncaster Road, and near Westfield Doncaster – the site Sydney-based retail giant Westfield chose to develop its first Melbourne shopping centre in 1969.  Savills Nick Peden and Nick Dempsey were the marketing agents.

Manningham City Council has been encouraging high density housing for arguably for longer than any suburban council – mainly around Doncaster Road.

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Manningham City Council Sells Prominent Doncaster Site For $8.92 Million

MANNINGHAM City Council will bank almost $9 million from the sale of a 3113 square metre development site opposite Doncaster Shoppingtown (aerial shot, right).

The 101 – 105 Tram Road site, on the south-east corner of Doncaster Road, has been purchased by an Australian based company whose principals have substantial development experience in Hong Kong and China.

The new owner plans to build luxury apartments on the Doncaster site, capitalising on CBD views availed by its elevated position.

Next door, at 95 – 99 Tram Road, affordable housing service provider Haven is building a 10-level, 98-unit complex. Haven paid $2.86 million for that site in 2009.

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Gillard-Rudd Laws Lock Australians Out of Residential Market

IT’s every first-home-buyers worst nightmare coming true – and the trend may just be starting.

Because of hugely controversial foreign ownership laws introduced by the Rudd-Gillard government three years ago – agents say local investors have not been offered to purchase apartments within a major residential skyscraper under construction at the tip of the city, near Flagstaff Gardens.

The 206 A’Beckett Street tower, on part of the former City Mazda site near the Queen Victoria Market car park, is being developed by Malaysia-based investors which paid Drapac $5.3 million for the 1194 square metre block in October 2008.

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