Simon Johanson

Simon Johanson

Property Editor at The Age and BusinessDay journalist for Fairfax's,, and

Rents in popular retail strips too high

Simon Johanson Retail rents in some suburban shopping strips may need to drop by up to 50 per cent before struggling streets will return to their former glory, agents say.

Police to investigate plumbing auditor

Simon Johanson A plumbing industry auditor's $10 million contract with Victoria's building regulator has been terminated and the matter referred to police following audit irregularities.

Thousands affected by 'slab heave' report blunder

Simon Johanson A government authority ‘‘misstated’’ the findings of an investigation into slab heave which has left thousands of poorly-built homes in Melbourne’s outer suburbs with...

Big retailers squeeze suburban shopping strips

Bridge Road in Richmond this month recorded its highest vacancy level in 10 years.

Simon Johanson The arrival of a host of international retailers and opening of Melbourne’s swank new Emporium shopping centre has taken a heavy toll on traditional suburban retail strips, with vacancy rates...

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Tall towers loom over key Melbourne gateway

Shadow boxing: Architects say overshadowing will be

Simon Johanson Four large apartment towers up to 34 storeys tall will be built on a key Melbourne gateway on the Yarra River next to Spencer Street under ambitious plans lodged with the state government.

Land prices in outer suburbs at four-year lows


Simon Johanson Land prices in Melbourne’s city-fringe housing estates are at four-year lows and likely to stay that way as the state government ramps up new land releases, figures show.

Tender prices under control

Simon Johanson Tendering for projects remains competitive despite strong growth in private sector construction, quantity surveyors say.

Time limits on suing builders lifted

Simon Johanson Owners can now sue their builder up to 10 years after getting a certificate of occupancy rather than the six years they may have previously been limited to, an appeal court has ruled.

Victoria Uni to sell another city campus

Victoria University plans to sell and lease back its Flinders Lane building.

Simon Johanson Victoria University’s continuing divestment of property will see it offer another city campus building to the market.

Home builders battle 'misleading' customer reviews

Metricon's Monarch

Simon Johanson Australia’s largest home builder Metricon is suing a product review website for publishing ‘‘misleading’’ reviews about its main competitor without disclosing they were...

Door open on student housing over Melbourne Central

The new Emporium shopping complex has driven more foot traffic through Melbourne Central.

Simon Johanson Property giant GPT Group may develop rooftop student accomodation and a hotel above the Melbourne Central shopping centre as it explores ways to enhance its property portfolio.


Property peak sets tone for local council rates

One of the heavily discounted properties around Melbourne.

Simon Johanson Local councils will use a peak point in Melbourne’s property cycle to determine how much land owners must pay in rates over the next two years.


The many houses of Parliament: property-rich pollies 'have vested interest' in high prices

Barry O’Sullivan

Simon Johanson Australia’s political elite are among the country’s most enthusiastic property investors with records showing one freeholding National Party member owns 50 titles and another holds 17.

Development activity picks up on estates

Simon Johanson Pellicano Group says renewed business confidence has underpinned a resurgence in development activity across its estates.


New roads in Fishermans Bend will cut through private property

Fishermans Bend.

Simon Johanson At least eight kilometres of new streets and roads will slice through numerous private land holdings under the Fishermans Bend "strategic framework" adopted as planning law last week.

Melbourne's industrial vacancy reaches near five-year high

Melbourne's vacancy rate has dropped marginally over the month.

Simon Johanson Industrial vacancy in Melbourne has reached a near-five year high as the wave of speculative development chasing new tenants creates a backlog of unfilled space, research shows.

Grocon sells part of wall collapse site

Grocon will sell the northern part of the site.

Simon Johanson Grocon will join a rush of developers and owners divesting key assets as a wave of Asian capital washes through Melbourne’s CBD.

Agribusiness on road to recovery: report

While the offshore appetite for dairy assets is increasing, a lack of institutional-grade assets is a ‘primary drag’ on market growth.

Simon Johanson Agribusiness has bottomed out and a recovery in the sector, particularly the poultry and dairy industries, will stimulate the property market, a report says.

Sales double as investors pump up market

Total sales for industrial property trebled over the year to June, to $923 million.

Simon Johanson Total sales of commercial property in Melbourne over the year to June have almost doubled from the previous year, agents report.

Oil company clears out of West Gate site

ExxonMobil's former storage terminal will be cleaned up for future use.

Simon Johanson ExxonMobil has pushed ahead with plans to demolish dozens of large petroleum storage tanks on a 20 acre site next to the West Gate bridge that it will remediate to potentially free-up the land for...