Hong Kong the most popular market in Asia for real estate investors

Real estate investment in Asia Pacific rose 16 percent to a record US$52 billion in the last quarter of 2017, according to JLL data.

Real estate investment in Asia Pacific rose 16 percent to a record US$52 billion in the last quarter of 2017, with Hong Kong, Australia and Japan remaining favorite markets among investors, according to latest data released by global property consultancy JLL.

Hong Kong was the most red-hot market in the region with transaction volume surging 171 percent year on year to US$7.4 billion in the fourth quarter. The notable growth was mainly driven by mega deals including the US$1.15 billion sale of Wheelock's 8 Bay East in Kwun Tong. It was followed by Australia and Japan, where three-month property investment exceeding 40 percent and 31 percent, respectively, from same period a year ago.

In Shanghai, investors were also active during the last quarter of 2017 with nearly US$3.5 billion in acquisitions. Major deals included Hong Kong-based Gaw Capital's US$757 million acquisition of Sky Soho, a group of Grade-A commercial assets.

For the entire 2017, Shanghai was the third-largest recipient of offshore capital in the world with US$5.8 billion in real estate acquisitions, which represented a year-on-year rise of 41 percent, according to JLL data.

In terms of buyers' origin, Asian investors were the most active cross-border purchasers of real estate last year, driven by a number of high-profile deals. In particular, investors from the Chinese mainland, Singapore and Hong Kong were the three biggest spenders, making up nearly 20 percent of the world's total US$60 billion cross-border capital flows in 2017, JLL's data showed.

Chinese mainland investors will continue to be interested in diversifying their portfolios, which has been one of the key drivers for the exponential growth of Chinese outbound investment over the past years, JLL predicted.



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