Despite the economic downturn, the Sydney commercial property sector is still looking healthy. As Australia looks poised to come out of the financial slump strong, businesses are taking advantage of current depressed property and rental prices and looking towards the future.
The option of buying or leasing commercial property is certainly something that many small businesses will consider. The decision is something that will come to greatly affect the business in the long run and there are many questions to ask. The individual needs of your business will ultimately determine the best option for you, but here are a number of things that every small business should think about:
Upfront Costs: For some businesses, the most limiting factor to buying office space is the large upfront costs. Down payment on typical Sydney real estate is usually about 25%-30% of the total cost, in addition to fees, inspections and other expenditure. However, if you’re in a position where you can afford to, purchasing a commercial property can pay off in the long run and greatly reduce your future overheads.
Variability: Obviously, one of the most attractive incentives for buying is knowing more accurately the costs you will incur for a certain amount of time. Leasing leaves many businesses vulnerable to the whims of the property sector with some leases pegging rental prices to the Consumer Price Index. However, many areas, such as Grade A office spaces in Sydney CBD, experience much less market fluctuation. Consider the variability of the area and grade of the property you’re looking at.
Appreciation: If you decide to purchase commercial space, you’re adding a valuable asset to your business with the potential for appreciation. Of course, this means you’ll need to do some heavy research to find a property that has good potential and will suit your business’s needs.
Depreciation: With appreciation, comes depreciation and tax considerations. Costs incurred from repairs and renovations to tenanted property are handled differently than private property. Lease holders can claim improvements immediately while owners may be required to depreciate their expenses over time.
Potential Growth: Finding a space that suits your business is very exciting, but what about the future? For many newer businesses, leasing could be the preferred option as it allows them to expand their more readily and with fewer limitations. Keep in mind that if you do outgrow your space, you can always lease the premises to help with the cashflow. Or you can consider initially purchasing a larger space and leasing part of the premises to another business to help cover some of the overheads.
These are just some of the many considerations that will help you decide if buying or renting is right for your business. An attorney or financial consultant will also be able to provide more information that is more specific to your business needs.