Global commercial real estate and investment firm CBRE has secured 13 new Australian agribusiness valuers, most of them from rival Colliers International.
Former Colliers agribusiness valuation team leader John Harrison arrives today at CBRE as its agribusiness valuation leader.
CBRE has labelled it a "recruitment blitz" to provide specialist expertise across all the country's major geographies.
Mr Harrison has joined CBRE after a decade at Colliers International.
Other new starters include former Colliers national agribusiness valuation leader and now director (SA and WA) Alex Thamm, James Beveridge from CBRE Toowoomba, Sam Douglas and Amy Retell.
With several other recent hires, CBRE now has a 20-plus strong agribusiness valuation advisory services team.
CBRE's senior managing director (residential, agribusiness valuations) Jarrod Frazer said the appointments highlight CBRE's commitment to Australia's thriving agricultural sector.
"Our focus is to provide our clients with a fully differentiated service offering across all agribusiness asset classes and geographic locations given the considerable growth opportunities in this market sector," Mr Frazer said.
Mr Harrison will be supported by a leadership team including Angus Shaw, Andrew Loughnan, Alex Thamm and Simon Altschwager.
"CBRE has been able to attract some of the most experienced industry experts within agribusiness valuations and I am excited to be working alongside such highly regarded professionals," Mr Harrison said.
"The attraction to join CBRE was primarily due to the company's strong global brand presence and the extensive resources available," he said.
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"This will enable our team to provide high quality and efficient valuation services and become the national provider of choice in agribusiness property, with the capability to service all states and territories of Australia."
Mr Harrison said Australian farmland had proven to be a resilient investment sector throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, with farmer confidence high on the back of good seasonal conditions and favourable commodity prices.
"A low interest rate environment and a shortage of listings over the past few years has led to surging rural land values across the country, with this strong value uplift resulting in improved equity positions," he said.
"This has enabled producers - particularly family groups - to expand and achieve greater economies of scale. We've also witnessed appetite from several investors with mandates to deploy capital in Australian agricultural property, with a focus on land value appreciation and security of revenue streams."
Mr Harrison said various REIT's (real estate investment trusts) and unlisted funds were also targeting farmland investment opportunities to diversify their business models.
"Against this backdrop, sale and leaseback transactions of Australian farmland will continue to grow in the coming years as various property investors look for real estate assets offering counter-cyclical advantages to the traditional real estate asset classes of office, retail and industrial," Mr Harrison said.
CBRE, headquartered in the US, is the world's largest commercial real estate services and investment firm.
A spokesman for Colliers said some of its agribusiness valuation team had departed.
"Our national valuation and advisory services team is one of the largest in the industry and will continue to support our agribusiness clients across all locations.
"We will continue to grow our agribusiness specialisation aligned to our ongoing investment in our market leading valuation technology and data platforms," the spokesman said.
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