When Independence is Critical

Urban Property Australia (UPA) is an independent property advisory business based in Melbourne. We spoke to founder and Managing Director Sam Tamblyn about why accurate and independent advice is the key to maximising opportunities in today’s Australian property market.

While there is increasing discussion that we are near the top of the current property cycle, Australia continues to offer an attractive investment proposition relative to other global locations. Nevertheless, Sam says it’s important for prospective investors to obtain independent advice before committing their funds.

“We are seeing an increased presence from offshore entities interested in investing in Australia,” he says. “But how do they identify opportunities or evaluate the potential of a given project?

“At UPA, we can draw on our market knowledge and comprehensive research to provide them with an independent assessment of the opportunities they’re considering.”

A highly experienced and diverse team UPA currently has more than 80 active clients across the institutional, financial and development spectrum, as Sam alludes to.

“We believe our market knowledge and the quality and extent of our research set us apart. When clients work with us they’re working with a talented team – highly qualified and experienced people. And we complement that experience with state-of-the art technology, so you have the ideal combination of comprehensive data and industry insight.”

Since Sam founded UPA in 2009, the company has advised on projects and investments totalling more than $AU25 billion and is continuing to grow, operating nationwide and taking on clients from beyond Australia’s shores. Sam says they handle well in excess of 2500 advisory assignments each year, covering commercial, industrial and retail properties and large residential developments.

“Another thing that’s important to our clients is that we have a truly independent, integrated operation,” he says. “This means we can offer consistent advice with no conflict of interest between competing business units.”

He says clients have a single point of contact for valuation, transaction management and advisory services, which ensures that each client receives a highly personalised and accountable service without any dilution of responsibility.

A passion for property, as well as managing the overall direction of UPA, Sam Tamblyn takes a hands-on role. His passion for the business and extensive industry network has seen him serve on the Boards of several property industry bodies.

Sam’s background includes more than 18 years of Australian and international property industry experience, valuing and advising on commercial and residential property. His career has included senior roles in Melbourne, Los Angeles and New York with CB Richard Ellis, Credit Suisse and Kimco Realty Corporation and he can boast an Ivy League university education in the USA at Columbia University. But he insists it’s not all about him, stating; “Our culture encourages a team approach.”

Each of UPA’s key staff members has over ten years of advisory experience and it’s clear that they get results. Sam points to the many repeat clients UPA advises as a testament to the quality of the company’s services.

Opportunities in the Australian market We asked Sam for some top-line comments on the Australian property market. With Australian banks taking a more conservative stance, he sees opportunities for overseas investors to fund debt and equity in Australia.

“The current spread between asset yields and bond yields, the highly transparent regulatory environment and Australia’s economic growth continues to make it a compelling investment consideration,” he says.

“Australia’s population growth, unparalleled spending on infrastructure and increasing urbanisation continue to present development opportunities for investors.”

Total investment in the Australian real estate market for the past year exceeded $30 billion for the fourth consecutive year. UPA’s research indicated that the Sydney and Melbourne office markets will continue to be global standouts in 2018. Both cities have benefited from a tightening in the supply of available office space and strong employment growth leading to globe-topping rental growth in 2017.

“We’re expecting to see local and global investors looking for investment opportunities in other Australian cities to capitalise on global economic recovery, which may increase tenant demand in Brisbane and Perth,” Sam says.

The effects of e-commerce Amazon’s entry into Australia in December was a constant theme of 2017 and structural change in global retail markets, driven by e-commerce, the rise of technology and changing consumer spending patterns, continues to lead to widely varying performance within the retail sector.

Indicators are that shopping centres offering a shopping experience that includes various types of entertainment and service-based occupiers will survive and thrive in the new retail environment, while other centres which don’t offer a point of difference in the digital world may suffer valuation declines and occupancy levels.

However, there is an upside. “We expect to see exponential growth in e-commerce having a significant impact on industrial development and investor demand for the next few years,” Sam says.

“Logistics trends are strong and traditional industrial areas are increasingly benefiting from rezoning driven by urbanisation and population density. One of the biggest drivers for the industrial market is the need to locate distribution facilities closer to consumers.”

Ensuring smarter decisions Ultimately, within this constantly changing environment, it is clear that independent and informed advice is the key to making the right investment decisions.

“At UPA, all our recommendations are based on detailed knowledge of the market obtained through
comprehensive research, up-todate and accurate data,” Sam says. “The result is consistent, reliable and timely advice that allows you to proceed with confidence.” 

Company: Urban Property Australia

Managing Director: Sam Tamblyn

Address: Ground Floor, 312 St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria, 3004, Australia

Telephone: +61 400 470 881