Australia's hotel scene ends 2016 on a high note

(Sydney Novotel Darling Harbour)

Over the holiday season, Australia's commercial property market saw more than $1.2 billion of hotels, office towers, pubs and residential land change hands. And experts are predicting that values will grow higher and investment yields will get tighter in the new year as a "limited pool of quality assets" along the country's east coast attracts demand from both local and offshore investors and developers

"2016 has been a year of cementing investor interest in Brisbane," JLL's Seb Turnbull told the Australian Financial Review. "Most of the larger domestic investors are underweight in Brisbane and are now back bidding on the right assets. Likewise, offshore interest is much deeper, with Brisbane a target market for various groups with differing appetites of risk." 

French company AccorHotels acquired a portfolio of 15 Ibis and Ibis Budget from the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for $200 million in a sign of strong confidence in the country's tourism. The pub sector, meanwhile, which often includes hotel space, has continued its record run. At the end of the year, the Australian Pub Fund--run by John Singleton, Geoff Dixon and Mark Carnegie--sold three Sydney pubs off-market for a combined $47 million, while Sam Arnaout's Iris Capital sold the landmark Clovelly Hotel to Matt Moran's Solotel "hospitality empire" for an estimated price of more than $30 million.

JLL's John Musca negotiated the sales of the Bristol Arms and the Como Hotel to the Oscars Hotel Group on behalf of APF. Ray White's Andrew Jolliffe negotiated the sale of the Clovelly Hotel to Solotel for Iris Capital and the Peakhurst Inn to JDA Hotels on behalf of APF.