The sale of a sub-regional shopping mall in the NSW coastal town of Woy Woy arrives amidst keen demand for Australian retail property.

The sale of Deepwater Plaza, a sub-regional shopping centre located in the NSW central coast town of Woy Woy, brings another $100 million in retail property assets to the market, as demand for the category ramps up and prices rise.

Deepwater occupies pride of place in the Woy Woy town centre, situated just opposite the railway station as well as near key local tourist destinations such as Macmasters beach, Avoca and Copacabana.

The single story shopping mall was built in 1984, before undergoing subsequent expansion in 1994 and 2005. The site currently covers 42,910 square metres, and plays host to a Coles Supermarket, Kmart, IGA Supermarket and 51 specialty stores.

According to sales agent Steven Lerche, national director of retail investment with Savills’, demand for food-anchored shopping centres is riding high in the market right now.

Lerche expects strong interest in the sale from both private and offshore investors, given the popularity of Woy Woy as a tourist destination as well as healthy demand in general for retail properties.

The listing arrives following the sale of Melbourne’s historic Block Arcade by the Kearney family to the Cohen family for a consideration of around $100 million via Colliers International and Allard Shelton.

According to Colliers the sales campaign for the Block Arcade resulted in 200 inquiries and 10 formal expressions, from places as far-flung and varied as Shanghai and Moscow.

In terms of regional retail property more akin to Woy Woy’s Deepwater Plaza, the Coomera City Centre in the Gold Coast suburb of Coomera recently went for $59.2 million to the Charter Hall Retail REIT.

The mall, situated just 20 kilometres to the north of the Gold coast, covers 9431 square metres, and is host to a Woolworths supermarket as well as a Dan Murphy liquor store, alongside another 33 specialty retailers.

Heightened demand for retail property in Australia has made David Jones a highly appealing acquisition target, as the South African Woolworths launches its $2.75 billion takeover bid.

David Jones is believed to have a property portfolio worth $650 million, not including developments which are currently in the pipeline.