A recent visit to our current and pipeline properties in Australia accentuated to me what a great opportunity Australia offers Islamic real estate investors, with the extremes of forest fires in the north and flash flooding in Sydney to the south emphasising the vast scale of the country.
The opportunity is largely driven by population growth, which is rising at a remarkable 1,000 people a day. That and the robust economy, which The Economist recently described as “arguably the most successful in the rich world.” Adding that, “It has been growing for 27 years without a recession — a record for a developed country.”
Put simply, such population growth is putting pressure on accommodation of all types, although recent exuberance in the construction of apartments in some city centers provides the exception to the rule. However, to Australia’s credit they are spending considerable amounts on new train lines, stations and rolling stock to relieve the pressure on city centers and ease commutes from those in the more affordable suburbs.
90 North’s acquisition with Sidra Capital of a Quest-branded serviced apartment property was in a completely new city of Springfield, outside of but linked by road and rail to Brisbane. Only the second master-planned city in Australia, after their capital city of Canberra, the scale and speed of the development there is mindboggling and must be seen to be believed.
Complementing the well-established mining and agriculture sectors, education and medical are rapidly growing industries. Whilst university accommodation provides a natural opportunity, we are currently assessing a new (limited service) hotel opportunity in the medical district of a major city, where medical tourism either domestically (remember Australia is bigger than Europe!) or internationally is big business.
As we’ve now proven, the local Shariah expertise is most definitely there and with a wide range of opportunities across a vast country I sincerely hope that an increasing number of Islamic investors seize them.
This article was first published in Islamic Finance news dated 9th January 2019.