A prominent Chinatown property leased to the popular Shark Fin House restaurant has netted its owners a huge price gain.
The $14.5 million off-market sale to a foreign investor saw the vendors of 131-135 Little Bourke St reap $7 million more than their 2012 purchase price seven years later.
The result, giving the sellers a whopping $1 million price rise a year, also marked the entry of Malaysian investor Mee Fong Yen’s MKS into the local real estate market, CBRE agent Julian White said.
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The vendors had paid $7.5 million in 2012 for the 928sq m block, which has housed the restaurant since the 1980s.
Shark Fin House is popular among locals and tourists for its yum cha, seafood and Cantonese cuisine, and its operators Shark Fin Group signed a new 10-year lease for the site last year.
The group also runs Shark Fin Inn in Chinatown and another restaurant in Keysborough.
Mr White said the buyer had inquired about investing with CBRE’s office on Little Bourke St and was directed to the site a short distance away.
“Having a single tenant and a popular Chinatown location were key attractions for the purchaser who has other overseas investments,” Mr White added.
“This is the only sale of the year of a retail building in the $5 million to $20 million bracket and Malaysian and foreign investors have snapped up more CBD properties than local buyers in the past 12 months.”
In contrast, seven CBD retail transactions totalling $65.225 million were negotiated in the first four months of last year.
CBRE director Lewis Tong said the sale of Shark Fin House highlighted ongoing Asian investor interest in Melbourne properties.
“Melbourne has traditionally been an attractive market for Malaysian investors, with an affinity which dates back to the 1950s, when many Malaysian students began coming to Melbourne,” Mr Tong said.
“Changes in the political environment in Malaysia have driven heightened interest in Australian investment opportunities in the past 12 months.”
Some 15 per cent of CBRE property transactions in the past year have involved purchasers of Malaysian origin, and a further 40 per cent were buyers from other parts of Asia.