Commercial investment volumes in Asia Pacific declined by 25% in Q1 compared to the previous quarter. However, this followed an exceptional Q4 – the highest quarterly volume on record. On an annual basis, volumes were up 37% on the same period last year, indicating continued recovery in the region’s investment markets.
The quarterly decline was mainly attributable to the traditional seasonal slowdown in line with Chinese New Year and lower transaction levels were recorded in all but three markets in Q1. A notable exception was Japan, where investment volume increased by 22%, marking the highest quarterly figure since the 2007 peak.
Foreign investment fell back during the quarter, to account for only 5.2% of the total. This marks the lowest level since we began tracking the Asia Pacific market. With very low yields in some markets, limited prime stock and an abundance of local capital, many international investors are struggling to find opportunities in the region.
In a break from tradition, offices overtook mixed-use to become the most transacted asset class in Q1, accounting for 36% of investment volumes. This was driven by some large office deals in Japan and China together with a decline in China land sales.
Listed property vehicles displaced private property companies as the largest net buyers on the back of strong REIT activity. J-REITs continued their buying spree, whilst A-REITs made a return to net purchasing activity following a year of divestment in 2012.
Following the slow start to the year, we expect to see growth in volumes as the year progresses, supported by strong REIT activity in Australia, Japan and SEA, and recovering sentiment in China.
Source : DTZ (Groupe UGL)