Increase in retail properties for sale expected, says Peel real estate agent

More Peel retail properties are expected to come to market post-pandemic as sales continue to drop. Photo: File image.
More Peel retail properties are expected to come to market post-pandemic as sales continue to drop. Photo: File image.

Peel real estate agents say they expect more retail properties to come on the market in the following months.

The reports come as COVID-19 continues to take its toll on retailers.

The latest figures showing Australia experienced its worst-ever month of trading in April as shoppers desert stores.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there was a record 17.9 per cent fall in purchases in April which ripped $5.38 billion out of the sector.

Raine and Horne Mandurah principal Peter Vetten said Mandurah had always been sluggish in the retail industry.

"Mandurah has always demonstrated a real weakness in its retail end," he said.

"When you look at the demographics in Mandurah there is a very high proportion of retirees, people waiting for a government check of some kind and also the majority don't earn a high wage.

"As a result of this Mandurah locals tend to buy on average more for price than they do for quality.

"This means upper end and bigger retailers tend to be slowly leaving."

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This seems to be the trend with Mr Sheepskin, Clearwater Surf and Boards, Beauty Queen, Hogs Express, Cotton On-owned franchises Ruby Shop and Factorie all shutting their doors since the Mandurah Forum redevelopment on March 22, 2018.

Target Meadow Springs is also closing on August 1 as the chain's sales have fallen 2.3 per cent over the last year.

With COVID-19 we will see people changing their buying habits. They will be getting used to buying online.

Raine & Horne principal Peter Vetten

Further closures are expected as many people are turning to online to do their shopping since COVID-19 restrictions began.

Unsurprisingly, retail internet sales jumped to a record 10 per cent in April, which is putting further strain on retail stores.

Mr Vetten said he expects retail closures to increase over the following months as COVID-19 continues to take its toll.

"With COVID-19 we will see people changing their buying habits. They will be getting used to buying online," he said.

"We've already seen a bit of an increase in retail properties on sale.

"We are expecting more to come to the market as COVID-19 will spook quite a few owners."