Perth developers gear up for economic bounce back

Article by: Julie-anne Sprague, Rich List editor

Source: Australian Financial Review

July 1, 2020

Perth is in a strong position to rebound from the pandemic-induced recession and there are “enormous opportunities”, says the founding director behind one of the city’s biggest development companies, Hesperia.

Ben Lisle, who will formally cement the marriage of his property group Linc Property and Adrian Fini’s Fini Group on Wednesday, said the shake-out in asset prices over the past six years left his home city in a good position to benefit from government stimulus aimed at revving up the economy.

Perth’s property sector is in a strong position to recover, says major developer Hesperia. Lauren Pilat

“We are very confident about the local market and believe that long-term growth in the WA economy means there are enormous opportunities ahead, particularly in industrial and transport sectors, commercial and medical uses, build-to-rent, and the planning and regeneration of key urban infill sites,” Mr Lisle said.

He said, in relative terms, Perth’s property sector was in a strong position to recover because it had already suffered a six-year downturn.

“Post the end of the mining boom we did a fair bit of asset price adjustment and the supply demand adjustment, so it puts us in a relatively better position to move forward again once you deal with some of the issues that are there now.

“This is a period that will reward more innovative and adaptive thinking and we tend to find that suits us.”

The merged development group, called Hesperia, has $1 billion in projects under development including the Roe Highway Logistics Park and Murdoch Health and Knowledge Precinct. The group has a pipeline of work worth more than $2 billion.

Mr Lisle has been working closely with Mr Fini for 15 years.

Mr Fini is well known for his hospitality and hotel developments including COMO The Treasury hotel and State Buildings precinct.

Mr Lisle said the merger brings together Fini Group’s strong built form and place-making capabilities with Linc Group’s structured deal making and complex land approvals know-how.

Financial Review Rich Lister Paul Blackburne believes Perth’s property market will outpace its east coast rivals, telling The Australian Financial Review recently he was pushing ahead with $1 billion in projects as he chases opportunities from a rebound.