Technical Due Diligence

Technical Due Diligence

Consistency, Clarity and Efficiency

Napier & Blakeley Due Diligence Reports are accepted by institutional grade investors – including REITS, super funds, sovereign funds, family offices, financiers and private equity globally.

We’re the market leader in the provision of Technical Due Diligence, demonstrated by the fact we’re involved in about 75% of all significant commercial property transactions to occur in Australia.

The key here is that a Napier & Blakeley Report is acceptable to all parties to a transaction.

Independence, Value, Risk Management and Upside

A Napier & Blakeley Due Diligence Report provides value to investors and their financiers as we are truly independent from the transaction, management or valuation of an asset.

We focus only on those financial matters, short to long term, material to the investment decision. Risk Management is facilitated by the allocation of probability of events occurring against their possible cost implications. This provides for a risk weighted expenditure forecast. Continue reading

Are Triple Net Lease Property Investments Risk Free?

Many property investors believe that triple net leased property investments make for good, safe, passive investments.

This can be the case, but there can also be serious financial consequences should they not be managed properly.

Triple net leases differ from traditional leases in that the tenant is generally responsible for all of the operating expenses including repairs, maintenance and life cycle capital expenditure – a new roof, air conditioning system, lifts, and the like.

However, there are risks to be aware of with such property. Triple net lease investments are often single tenanted properties, perhaps with a special purpose or use.

The commercial stability of the tenant is of course fundamental in any investment, but in a triple net lease are they also going to:

  • Take a proactive and planned approach to managing the asset?
  • Keep on top of property maintenance and life cycle repairs and replacements?
  • Fully understand what their obligations are?
  • Know how to live up to and manage their end of the bargain? Continue reading

Capex Planning Makes Property More Valuable

If you’re an Owner or Manager of commercial property you may well now be planning budgets and setting targets for the year ahead and beyond.

There are a number of questions to be answered:

  • What needs to be repaired, replaced or improved?
  • What are the priorities?
  • When does it need to be done?
  • What could safely be deferred?
  • How much will it cost?
  • What will be the return?

Napier & Blakeley can help answer all of these questions and more. Our expertise extends beyond Services Engineers, Building Consultants and Quantity Surveyors who have current cost information to produce cost estimates and property tax depreciation reporting aligned to the commercial goals of your business and intentions for the property.

Spending money is not all bad news:

  • Needs can be prioritised.
  • Cash flow can be improved through capital allowances and tax depreciation.
  • Valuations can be improved. Continue reading

Technical Due Diligence

Our Transaction & Asset Advisory professionals cover the core disciplines involved in the physical analysis of cost, risk and return of property acquisition, ownership and disposal.

We align our clients’ thoughts with our own and provide user friendly, accurate, meaningful and timely advice that is oriented to the commercial imperatives that actually matter.

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Strategy with the Sales Process

Those in the business of selling commercial property can achieve the best price within a short period of time through a staged approach to technical due diligence. 

The old adage of ‘buyer beware’ typically means that purchasers conduct their own technical due diligence which can uncover late in the day surprises relating to condition, deferred maintenance, non compliances with statutory obligations or capital expenditure needs. These may include deal breakers or points of negotiation on price and contractual conditions.

These late in the day uncertainties can be mitigated by vendors who take a staged approach to technical due diligence and where the end result, the technical due diligence report, can be assigned to the purchaser.  Continue reading

Project Monitoring With Continued Due Diligence

With the complexity and size of current new developments as well as their varying funding & delivery arrangements, our National Building Consulting team is undertaking an increasing number of Project Monitoring commissions for a variety of clients.

We are seeing a current trend of acquisitions of development property from international investors partnering with local developers – and more lately, from local property companies and superannuation funds. This is coupled with major corporates wanting anchor tenancies in new developments.

Project Monitoring is distinct from both Project Management and Construction Monitoring. Its primary role is to protect the Client’s interests by identifying and advising on the risks associated with acquiring an interest in a development that is not under the client’s direct control.

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Strategic Asset Management

Property owners are now emerging from survival mode and searching for opportunities. 

One of the first steps is evaluation and gaining a better understanding of their existing portfolios, to make the best of what they’ve got – given constraints on availability of finance.  Typically the portfolios are older, B grade and ripe for opportunity.

Strategic Asset Planning provides short, medium and long term views on minimising cost, managing risk and maximising returns through continued due diligence.

There is a positive trend towards this approach starting with understanding baseline data in terms of condition, performance and environmental and regulatory compliance in such a way that is cost effective, meaningful, useable and enduring.  It is vital to know what data needs to be collected and how it should be best used and managed for maximum effect. Continue reading

Buyers Beware… Investigate or Reach for your Wallet

In the last year Napier & Blakeley have undertaken more than 100 physical due diligence and capital expenditure forecast exercises with a combined value in excess of $10billion.

It’s rare to find nothing that would be considered problematic for an incoming owner, but the last few years there have been a few issues that have become commonplace through either lack of ongoing investment and maintenance or as a result of new market legislation.

The GFC brought substantial financial constraints to the entire economy but for property owners it brought pressures through loan to value ratios (LVR’s), reductions in value and rental income. This created a catch 22 situation where many knew they had to keep maintaining and spending capital to keep their assets compliant, relevant and therefore rentable, but were unable to directly fund or borrow funds to do so.

We recently re-analysed an asset that we had prepared due diligence and capex forecasts for a few years ago, and the list of items that we identified in our initial report were almost completely the same as now. Nothing had been fixed, maintained or repositioned. So, many years down the track the asset has fallen deeper into redundancy and therefore costs more to rectify. Continue reading

R & M Diminished

Is your ‘too good to be true’ property deal rally sustainable?
According to Napier & Blakeley managing director Alastair Walker, lack of capital post GFC has lead to a significant neglect of repair and maintenance (R&M) and Capex spend.  Having worked on property due diligence valued at plus $10B since the GFC, Napier & Blakeley has seen only nominal spend on upkeep compared with previous years.

Reduced Life Expectancy and Premature Capex
Recent technical due diligence and condition assessments have also found that the lack of R&M and Capex budgets for economic life driven plant and equipment overhauls and refurbishments has resulted in increased short and medium term Capex.

To put this in context, without appropriate R&M, major plant items may have an economic expected life of (say) 25 years, however the reduction of removal of maintenance can result in a major shortfall in expected life to around 15 years.

The Reaction
Astute purchasers have become aware of this risk and look for these patterns in their technical due diligence reporting to ensure that appropriate Capex costs are factored into the purchase price to account for a vendor’s R&M expenditure shortfalls. 

Condition assessments, maintenance reviews, energy assessments and risk weighted strategic Capex forecasts have become 2010’s essential tools for good asset and facility management and sustainable property solutions.  Continue reading

Recent Trends in Technical Due Diligence

Is your ‘too good to be true’ deal really sustainable ?

Lack of Capital post GFC has lead to a significant neglect of R&M and Capex spend.

Having worked on property due diligence valued over $10B since the GFC, Napier & Blakeley have seen only nominal spend on upkeep compared with previous years.

Risk of Non-Compliance (i)

During this period the increasing trend has been a notable reduction of Repair and Maintenance (R&M) and Capital Expenditure (Capex)  budgets. Whilst this strategy may have been necessary in some circumstances e.g. postponement of non-essential Capex, we have found too commonly evidence of non-compliance regarding statutory maintenance such as testing, auditing and reporting of essential safety measures and fire safety systems.

Reduced Life Expectancy and Premature Capex 

Recent technical due diligence and condition assessments have also found that the lack of R&M and Capex budgets for economic life driven plant and equipment overhauls and refurbishments has resulted in increased short and medium term Capex.

Continue reading