Sales of industrial property have surged since the second half of 2013.

Investment activity in the industrial property sector has reached $1 billion for the first half of 2014, according to figures from Colliers International’s most recent Industrial Research and Forecast Report First Half 2014.

In addition to breaching the $1 billion threshold, this figure marks a 30 per cent leap compared to the second half of last year, when $661 million in investment spending was made.

Colliers International said these levels of investment in industrial property are set to remain steady over the short term, as the asset class continues to draw investors with consistent revenues and impressive growth opportunities.

The industrial property sector currently leads all commercial property asset categories in terms of total returns, while possessing the other advantages of low capital expenditures for upgrades, longevity of facilities, and the land-rich nature of industrial real estate, which in turn provides ample opportunities for redevelopment.

Institutional investors account for the vast majority the market, comprising 71.9 per cent of all purchases made this year to date. This percentage marks an increase of 58.8 per cent compared to the 2013 full year figure, with institutions expected to remain the mainstay of investors in the industrial sector.

Institutions invested in excess of $1.7 billion in Australian industrial property over the 12-month period ended March 2014.

Amongst institutional investors, Charter Hall led the pack with 28 per cent of total investment by institutions. Goodman came in second at 23 per cent, with GPT Group third at 12 per cent.

REITs have also emerged as key players in industrial property investment, assuming a dominant role.

Goodman, Dexus and Charter Hall in particular have accumulated a substantial pipeline of industrial developments comprised of large-scale facilities and estates, catering for the most part to clients in logistics and retail.

Across the eastern seaboard, there is currently over 660,000 square metres of industrial space being built, with core hotbeds of development including the Sydney suburbs of Eastern Creek, Chullora and Prestos, the Melbourne suburbs of Ravenhall, Truganina, Altona and Derrimut, and the Brisbane suburbs of Richlands, Redbank Plains and Berrinba.