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December 2, 2014

Transaction tops off remarkable year for foreign investment into the country’s real estate market

One of Australia’s largest trophy hotels, the five-star Sheraton on the Park, Sydney, has been sold to China based Sunshine Insurance Group Corporation for AUD 463 million. The transaction sets a new record for the largest single hotel asset sale in Australia, previously held by the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, which sold for AUD 340 million in 2013.

“Selling the hotel for AUD 463 million has completely recalibrated the pricing of CBD hotels in Sydney. At over AUD 830,000 per guest room, it is the highest price per room ever achieved for a large hotel in Australia,” said Craig Collins, CEO – Australasia, JLL’s Hotels & Hospitably Group, who led the transaction.
“Extensive investor interest was received from around the globe during marketing of Sheraton on the Park. International investors are becoming increasingly interested in the Sydney five-star accommodation market due to its strong trading performance, future trading upside and benign supply pipeline.”

“I was in Asia again last week and the focus on CBD hotels is certainly not slowing down. Over the past few years groups from Singapore and Hong Kong have largely dominated the market and acquired most Australian CBD hotels. Whilst South East Asian investors continue to have a strong focus on the Australian hotel sector, Chinese investors have only become a major player in the hotel market over the past 18 months. We started to notice their initial interest when we were marketing the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney last year. While a Korean group finally purchased the Four Seasons, it was the first time that there were a number of Chinese groups strongly contesting a major hotel in Sydney.” said Mr Collins.

“Hotels are an asset class of choice for Chinese investors and this latest hotel transaction in Sydney underlines the global appetite from Chinese investors for landmark hotels in gateway cities,” said Alistair Meadows, Head of JLL’s International Capital Group in Asia Pacific.

The sale of Sheraton on the Park comes shortly after two other trophy hotel transactions in super-prime location by Chinese investors. Earlier this year, the Marriott Hotel Champs-Elysees in Paris was purchased by Kai Yuan Holdings for €341 million while, in October, the Waldorf Astoria New York was sold for US$1.95 billion to Anbang Insurance Group.

The Sheraton on the Park was sold with a long term management agreement and Starwood will continue to operate the hotel as a Sheraton. Situated in Sydney’s bustling CBD and opposite picturesque Hyde Park, the 557-room hotel’s guest offering includes an award-winning gourmet restaurant, contemporary tea lounge, cocktail bar, extensive conference and function space, and a range of recreational facilities. The hotel has received numerous awards and accolades including New South Wales Tourism’s Hall of Fame awards Best Luxury Accommodation and Australia’s Leading Hotel awards from World Travel Awards.

Sydney is currently undergoing a significant amount of office construction and infrastructure related development, and JLL anticipates that the increased hotel demand associated with these projects will create healthy trading conditions for the hotel sector over the medium term. Strong investor demand does however extend beyond the CBD with numerous international and domestic groups competing for a number of hotel assets that have sold in the metropolitan and regional areas during 2014.

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