Commercial property boom in Asia-Pacific

Commercial property leased out by investors in the Asia-Pacific, or invested stock, increased 14 per cent last year, displaying the region’s flourish while markets in Europe and the United States languished, according to the yearly Money into Property report by real estate consultancy DTZ.

The Asia-Pacific’s invested stock is also forecast to match current global leader Europe’s level by rising to US$4.4 trillion (S$5.47 trillion) by next year, after taking the place of the US as the world’s second-largest commercial property market this year, DTZ said.

The Asia-Pacific region’s growth has been led by China and Australia, which reported gains of 25 and 24 per cent, respectively, last year. Overall transaction levels in the region rose to US$158 billion last year, indicating increasing development activity and rising capital values. Global investment volumes were up 76 per cent at US$342 billion – the highest since 2007. DTZ also forecast global investment volumes to increase 9 per cent this year.

Mr David Green-Morgan, DTZ head of Asia Pacific Research, is optimistic about the region. “We expect Asia-Pacific’s momentum to continue on the back of strong economic growth, lack of legacy debt issues and strong investor interest.”

Liquidity in the Asia-Pacific commercial property market continued to grow last year. The amount of private debt funding such investments grew 17 per cent to US$257 billion, while private equity funding grew 13 per cent to US$139 billion. However, DTZ said rising interest rates may make bank loans less popular.

“On the debt side, some of the government policy will reduce the amount of debt going forward, for the growth of private debt in particular. Also some of the debt is being priced higher now and becomes less attractive,” said Mr Hans Vrensen, global head of research at DTZ.

“But there’s a lot of development still in the pipeline. You are not going to stop building a building. People will continue to deliver these properties to the market and that is a big momentum that the Asia-Pacific has,” said Mr Vrensen.

Source : Today – 27 May 2011

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