South Australian Business News

Swagger state primed for property investment opportunities

Anthony Caldwell
Tuesday, February 27th 2024

Investment firm Leyton Funds has quietly overseen a significant expansion in its property portfolio, soaring from under $100 million in 2020 to $350 million at the beginning of 2024, according to Managing Director Warwick Mittiga. 

We are in a great place at the moment and really excited about the future,” he said. 

Leyton Funds is a South Australian owned and managed real estate funds management firm acquiring commercial, retail, and industrial property in South Australia, with additional assets in Queensland and Western Australia.

Mittiga, who returned to Adelaide in 2016 after a decade-long property career in London, was appointed as Managing Director in 2020 following a leadership restructure aimed at positioning the firm for exponential growth in the years ahead.

While we’ve been in business for more than 15 years, it’s only been in the last four that we’ve really expanded. 

Our business was founded as a family office and although we’ve grown, we have always retained that ethos of being private investors of our own capital, always with an eye for where we can add value”. 

Leyton Funds’ diverse portfolio includes neighbourhood shopping centres such as Gawler Central, BlueScope Steel’s new manufacturing hub at Adelaide Airport, industrial properties at Melrose Park, Beverly and Dry Creek, and a $45 million advanced manufacturing facility in Adelaide’s North, a joint venture with Bedford Group expected to be completed in 2025.

Looking back at the onset of COVID in 2020, there was a lot of uncertainty across every part of the economy including in the property market”, said Mr Mittiga. 

However, within a relatively short period, markets had roared back through ultra-low interest rates creating a fair bit of dislocation in asset prices. 

Navigating this market was hard, as the wave of capital searching for a home pushed some prices beyond where we felt they should be. 

We tried to be smart about how we found opportunities to invest and sometimes you just have to wait,” he said.


Despite a very competitive market, within four years Leyton Funds has expanded its property assets, acquiring 12 new properties, adding $250 million to its portfolio. 

We managed to grow by focussing on some high-quality new development opportunities and extremely hard work from our whole team”.

Mr Mittiga emphasises the firm has a simple and considered” approach to every property investment by assessing where they can add value, keeping their investment strategy grounded in real estate fundamentals.

We firmly believe in active management to support our tenants achieve strong business performance, ultimately enhancing real estate value. We try to be really tenant focussed”.

Despite Leyton Funds’ optimistic trajectory, the firm remains keenly aware of the challenges confronting businesses, particularly rising costs, as highlighted in the South Australian Business Chamber and William Buck’s December Quarter Survey of Business Expectations.

Rising costs across every part of operations are posing significant challenges for businesses. 

The results of the survey align with what we hear from tenants.

Our business success is inherently linked to the performance of our tenants, so we collaborate with them and look to invest in our real estate for mutual gain. This can be anything from solar to reduce energy costs through to direct marketing to drive visitation and turnover”, he said.

Looking ahead, the firm sees interesting opportunities, coinciding with more certainty around interest rates on the horizon, priming the state for commercial property investment.

There’s probably a bit more motivation from some sellers now than we’ve seen recently. 

There’s not been much transactional activity over the past 12 months, but we are starting to see opportunities where we feel like there’s long-term value and pricing driven a bit more by cyclical factors.

We are not interested in pursuing deals simply for the sake of it,” he added. We’re not setting fund acquisition targets, but rather assessing opportunities for the right investment outcome.

Mittiga sees his investment decisions are being supported by strong fundamentals from the state. We are genuinely excited about where South Australia is now and where it can go from here. 

Our resilient state exudes a confidence it hasn’t experienced before. There is a buzz about SA. 

I am hearing this from investors right across Australia. Our state has some swagger it hasn’t had before”.

Author

Anthony Caldwell

Manager, Marketing, Media, Communications
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