Land shortage drives demand

BLOCKS in emerging industrial areas will be in high demand this year as the land shortage in established industrial suburbs continues to drive up prices.

Bibra Lake, Forrestfield, Henderson and parts of Rockingham are set to become the new home of Perth industry as land in Belmont, Canning Vale, Kewdale and Welshpool becomes a rarity.

Market interest in the new areas has seen land values double in the past five years but a boom period is now antici-pated with Landcorp poised to release several big parcels of land.

Chesterton International industry agency director Wayne Chorley predicted stage one of the Access Park development in Forrestfield would have developers and industrial com-panies scrambling to win a piece of the future estate.

“Many people will take the opportunity to buy the land,” Mr Chorley said.

“Some companies with three or four warehouses around the metropolitan area will take this as a chance to relocate and consolidate their operations in one place.

“Developers will also be buying blocks to develop at a later stage.”

Stage one of Access Park will be released next month and will include 17 blocks – between 1 and 3.5 hectares.

Burgess Rawson commercial and industrial department associate director, Andrew McKerrachers, said Landcorp’s involvement in the project almost ensured its success and expected the same market response to Bibra Lake.

“Bibra Lake has been an industrial area for several years but with Landcorp going in there the area will be promoted strongly and there will be more increases in land values over the next few years,” Mr McKerrachers said.

“Landcorp’s involvement in Canning Vale is almost finished and they will now start to bring the southern industrial areas to the forefront.”

Figures from the Valuer General’s Value Watch series showed that 1000sqm lots in Bibra Lake averaged just $40sqm, in 1996.

By December last year, the same lots were averaging $70sqm.

Colliers Jardine industrial negotiator, Rocco Demaio, expected the level of interest in this area to remain strong and noted the Roe Highway extension, planned to connect the Kwinana Freeway with Fremantle by 2008, would bring major transport benefits to Bibra Lake.

“It will ensure Bibra Lake will be better connected with other southern industrial locations, including Canning Vale and Kewdale-Welshpool as well as the Fremantle port area,” Mr Demaio said.

The interest in new areas has also been fuelled by the changing face of existing industrial areas, according to Property Council of WA policy and communications officer Geoff Cooper.

“Land in inner Perth areas traditionally used for industrial purposes has been put to other uses, such as retail and commercial,” Mr Cooper said.

“These attract higher land values, resulting in land price growth in traditional industrial areas.

“Changed land use in traditional industrial areas near the city will encourage industrial users seeking larger properties to move to cheaper areas.”

Mr Chorley suggested this was working to force heavy industrial operations out of areas such as Belmont, where land prices were now at the $200 sqm mark.

“Changes to zoning have meant more businesses and more office type companies have moved into the area,” he said.

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