MAKING GROUND: Maryborough PRDnationwide's Tony Nioa outside the front of the recently sold heritage building - 88 Ellena St, Maryborough.
MAKING GROUND: Maryborough PRDnationwide's Tony Nioa outside the front of the recently sold heritage building - 88 Ellena St, Maryborough. Jessica Lamb

Movement in Maryborough commercial markets

HERITAGE building sales are one of the good news stories in Maryborough's CBD.

PRDnationwide Maryborough's Tony Nioa believes things are turning a corner in the city's commercial hub.

"It's really interesting because everyone keeps saying nothing happening in Maryborough CBD, but in the 18 months we have sold four commercial properties on Kent St alone," he said.

"Heritage, particularly well-maintained buildings, are still fashionable. Two of them have gone for sales over a million."

In September 2018, 297 Kent St sold for $1,150,000.

Recently, the public trustee building on the corner of Adelaide and Ellena streets sold to an investor. Mr Nioa said the leasing of the shop fronts had brought ground-level vacancy from 40 per cent up to 80 per cent.

He explained some properties were selling for 20 per cent more than they what they sold for five years ago.

While Maryborough's CBD is plagued by empty shop fronts and high vacancy rates, Sprake Real Estate commercial sales and leasing specialist Tom Wilson said it was important not to be too self-critical when it came to the current market.

"I travel to a lot of places interstate and there are spots in Melbourne and Sydney doing it as tough as Maryborough," he said.

"It's important to keep in perspective that there are high vacancy rates in a lot of places in regional Queensland. This means, although we still put a lot of effort into rectifying it, we haven't done anything drastically wrong ourselves to put us here."

He explained the commercial market was still slow in the Heritage City.

"Yields are up but a vacant position is very difficult to move. It is much easier to sell properties which are fully leased with good tenants unless you get the rare owner-occupier because they decide it is cheaper than renting," Mr Wilson said.

"The banks are having a major impact with their current lending policies and limits which has manifested in the commercial sector for those looking to get loans and can't.

"We do have inquiries, more often than not, from outside the region with investors looking for high yields."

Mr Nioa said CBDs across the regions were having to "reinvent themselves".

"Part of this change means there is more businesses rather than retail outlets in our CBD which we are seeing especially with the council and Rheinmetall Nioa moving their offices and staff into town," he said

"People don't realise how much money staff there spend on lunch and coffee or things to browse on their breaks."

Looking at Maryborough's industrial market, Mr Nioa said one industrial estate had no vacancies.

In the past two years, he said PRD had sold four properties including 3.46 acres at 33 Enterprise St for $1,075,000 in August 2017.