Australian accommodation AUM worth $120bn

22 Jul 2022
Words Liz Jordan Australian Property Journal

Australian accommodation AUM worth $120bn

THERE is $120 billion of accommodation assets under management, according to a management rights industry-first report, which values the management rights industry at $4.8 billion.

ResortBrokers Management Rights Report 2022 shows there are 3,679 schemes nationally and 250,652 lots under the management rights model, with an average of 68 lots per scheme.

Management rights is a business model that provides for the long-term operation of strata-titled complexes, where residential lots are owned by multiple owners with both similar and sometimes contrasting interests, such as investors and owner occupiers.

It largely consists of two principal components, a caretaking agreement and a letting agreement. A caretaking agreement provides a fixed salary (usually CPI linked) for conducting the day-to-day duties of looking after a complex through things like cleaning and gardening, while a letting agreement provides exclusive onsite letting rights, meaning the owner is the only entity that can run a letting business from within the complex.

Management rights is most robust in Queensland, growing with development of strata-titled properties that began to flourish in the 1960s on the Gold Coast, although the model exists in all other states and territories under varying legislation.

Brisbane has witnessed the most robust sales of management rights over the past five years, recording 40% of all transactions, followed by the Gold Coast (28%), Sunshine Coast (12%), North Queensland (10%), NSW (6%) and Melbourne (4%).

Purchase multipliers – which are similar to cap rates, but inverted – have increased significantly in that time, particularly for medium-to-high netting management rights assets.

Sub-sectors are typically divided between permanent, where tenants rent for a minimum of six months and owner occupiers live indefinitely – and short-term business types, where holiday or corporate guests stay in serviced apartment and hotel-style accommodation for short durations. Multiplier averages have been 4.1x and 4.6x respectively.

Major accommodation brands which operate management rights include Sebel Residences, Mantra and Peppers by Accor, and Oaks and Avani by Minor Hotels.

“Well-known corporate brands, high net-worth private operators, syndicates and private equity, all compete for the biggest and best MRs. International investors (particularly Chinese) have been attracted to the sector and hold an ever-increasing share of the market,” the report said.

Off-the-plan businesses, sold by the developer prior to its completion, have seen a 4.1x average multiplier while established has seen 4.5x and with a much broader range. Off-the-plan opportunities have become the most sought-after management rights type.

Many developers have opted to establish management rights as “business only” assets, and have seen a 5.1x multiplier, while with real estate has seen a slightly broader range and an average of 4.1x.

COVID-19 has had almost no effect on permanent residential management rights, but short-stay management rights have been impacted, particularly in the regions, although with variations. The Sunshine Coast recovered as the nationwide lockdown ended, while the Gold Coast needed international borders to reopen.

Transactions on the whole are taking longer.

“The industry is a key cornerstone of Australia’s tourism sector, offering thousands of professionally managed serviced apartments to the market ensuring higher level of security, health and safety when compared to an Airbnb,” said ResortBrokers director Alex Cook.

The industry employs about 33,000 people.

Cook anticipates the short-to-medium term outlook for the management rights market to be extremely positive.

“Certain sectors are expected to maintain current strength and consistency, and others to show a general recovery from the pandemic conditions of recent years.

ResortBrokers captures more than half of the entire Australian management rights market with 51% market share and 376 sales over the past five years, worth more than $546 million.


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