AMP Capital’s shopping centre fund has sold a regional shopping centre in New Zealand’s Christchurch to Adelaide-based Di Mauro Group for NZ$88.8 million. 

The 34,395 sqm Palms shopping centre is situated on a 55,129 sqm site and is located 4km north-east of the Christchurch CBD. 

The centre is anchored by department store chain Farmers, Woolworths Group-owned supermarket chain Countdown and Reading Cinemas, representing a major tenant WALE of 8.2 years. 

CBRE said major, national and chain retailers occupied 80% of the gross lettable area and accounted for 78% of the total gross rental income. 

CBRE’s Simon Rooney and Brent McGregor negotiated the off-market transaction on behalf of the AMP Capital Shopping Centre Fund. 

“New Zealand continues to gain traction as a retail investment destination, with offshore investors attracted by the country’s compelling investment fundamentals, including low retail supply per capita, ongoing strong population growth, robust retail turnover growth, low acquisition costs and an attractive yield profile,” Rooney said. 

Three of the eight parties bidding on the property were based in Australia.  

CBRE’s McGregor said The Palms property had a total trade area population of 151,461 and significant retail spending capacity of $1.87 billion. 

“Despite border closures and restrictions, investor interest in the New Zealand market remains high, with low interest rates enabling transactions to proceed,” McGregor said.  

Rooney said the centre also occupied a significant and under-utilised site that provided the opportunity for future mixed-use value-add development schemes subject to the relevant planning approvals. 

The Di Mauro Group owns more than AU$1.4 billion in property assets across Australia and New Zealand, including the West City Shopping Centre in Auckland and the North City Shopping Centre in Wellington. 

Retail deals just keep flowing 

The Christchurch deal follows a series of retail deals across Australia in recent weeks.   

Last week, a new Bunnings store under construction in Queensland’s Hervey Bay sold for $58.6 million, setting a new national yield record of 4% for the hardware retail chain.   

Earlier this month, Greenpool Capital and Qualitas took over the Gold Coast’s Runaway Bay Centre after buying the remaining 50% interest from Vicinity Centres for $132 million.   

Link REIT acquired a 50% stake in three retail properties in Sydney for $538.2 million, while CIP Asset Management sold a 50% stake in the Roselands shopping centre in Sydney to JY Group for $167 million. 

In October, Vicinity Centres bought a 50% stake in the Gold Coast’s Harbour Town outlet centre from a Lendlease-managed fund for $358 million.  

UniSuper and Cbus Property teamed up with AMP Capital to take majority ownership of the Gold Coast’s Pacific Fair and a 50% stake in Macquarie Centre in NSW in a retail deal worth $2.2 billion, as part of a recapitalisation of the AMP Capital Retail Trust.  

Primewest also bought the Northgate Geraldton shopping centre in Geraldton, WA from a Lendlease fund for $71.2 million.