Property group back with $100m to spend

February 19, 2019

Raphaella Saroukos | NT News

Darwin’s plummeting property market has again attracted a Queensland property group which previously bought $100 million worth of Territory assets.

Brisbane-based Sentinel Property Group has returned to Darwin seeking to add to its commercial portfolio, worth more than $1 billion.

Sentinel managing director Warren Ebertwas eager to take advantage of Darwin’s dismal economy.

“We look at locations when the market’s not very good, and I think most people up here know the economy in the Northern Territory isn’t too good, so that’s when we come to buy,” he said.

“Darwin has been at the bottom probably longer than I expected, probably onger than most expected but I think it’s ready to go up.

“That’s our view, we’re investing accordingly.”

In 2016 Sentinel purchased the CasCom Centre for $34 million. It returned in 2017 to buy Jacana House in Woods St for $60.75 million and Arnhemica House in Parap for $9.3 million.

Mr Ebert said Sentinel was focused on acquiring established buildings, particularly offices, with a high yield between 8 and 9 per cent.

“We’re not after trophy assets the big international companies will buy,” he said.

“We’re fairly selective. We chase a high yield, normally after older properties with shorter leases that you can add some value to.”

Despite the Territory’s economic woes, Mr Ebert believes Darwin’s future is bright.

“We see some of the incentives the Government announced for housing so they’re certainly trying to drive some growth here,” he said.

“They need to look at what the strengths are and capitalise on it, but the Government has to make it easy for people to do business, otherwise if it’s not they just go somewhere else.”

Mr Ebert said Sentinel was prepared to invest another $100 million into the Territory.

“We’d be happy to spend another $100 million if we can find the sort of assets we’re after,” he said.

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