Average national hotel room rate lifts by over 3% in 2013: Savills

Improved trading conditions in Melbourne, Sydney and a recovery in Cairns helped boost average hotel room rates across the country by more than 3% in the 12 months to December 2013.

The figures were revealed in the latest Savills Insight Australian Hotels report, which painted an upbeat picture for hotel industry in the year ahead. 

"As the correction of the Australian dollar continues, domestic travel is likely to increase and Australia will become more affordable for international tourists", the report said. That combination of factors, it believes will lead to increased demand and higher rates in Australian hotels.

Average revenue per available room (RevPAR) growth rose by 3.2% to $132.36 in 2013. RevPAR is a key industry performance measure based on multiplying the occupancy rate by average daily room rate.

RevPAR growth was the strongest in Melbourne, which recorded a 7.2 per lift, followed by Sydney at 6.4% and Cairns at 3.3%. That was offset by falls in Perth, which was affected by the mining industry scale back, Brisbane and Canberra.  

Savills is tipping a better year ahead for the Brisbane market, with expectations of a "spike in trading" during the G20 summit in November.  

During the 12 months to December, Savills recorded 69 sales of hotel assets over $5 million throughout Australia, representing a total value of $2 billion. More than half of that total value was attributed to the sale of the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and the TAHL portfolio. 

With demand continuing to outstrip supply, the report said: "current owners are looking to capitalise on rising values and view the next 12 to 18 months as a good time to exit the market."

Savills also highlighted that development of new hotels was picking up and as a result "we could see offshore investors acquire hotels on forward commitments as a way to secure assets in a tightly held market."


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