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Perth real estate shake-up looms

THE rumoured merger of Chesterton International and Colliers Jardine’s Perth office is a sign of the times for the commercial real estate industry.

In recent times there has been a consolidation of large agencies throughout Australia, according to the executive director of the Property Council of Australia WA Division, Joe Lenzo.

Mr Lenzo believes the current consolidation is just part of the property cycle that has been brought on by economic realities within the industry.

“I think that you will find what is happening is that more and more of the decision making is being taken out of Western Australia (and going) to the east coast so that what we have is sort of a branch state situation here, and it is difficult for a number of commercial agencies to be effective unless they are large, strong and national,” he said.

“Size wise it will have the resources, the expertise and the size that I think is required in today’s market place, when you are talking about the commercial, retail and industrial side of property.”

Both Colliers Jardine and Chesterton International declined to comment on the merger rumours, but it is believed the deal involves Chesterton International and Colliers Jardine directors purchasing the right to operate Colliers’ Perth office as a franchise carrying the Colliers Jardine name.

Chesterton International managing director Graham Iddles has been touted as the person to head the new company, which is likely to be housed in Chesterton International’s St Georges Terrace offices.

The rumours surrounding the imminent merger have created growing concern over job security among the 50 and 75 full-time employees at Colliers Jardine and Chesterton International respectively.

The businesses have a similar departmental structure, which means that if the proposed merger becomes a reality, job losses are likely.

Fear of this eventuality has already led to the entire valuation team of six staff members from Colliers Jardine recently departing for positions with rival agencies FPD Savills and Clough Property.

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