Asia Pacific real estate investment surges by 30% in first nine months of 2021: JLL

KUALA LUMPUR, 21 October 2021 – Asia Pacific real estate investment volumes continued to rebound strongly in the first nine months of 2021, up 30% compared to the same period in 2020. According to global real estate advisor JLL, Asia Pacific direct real estate transactions year-to-date reached US$125 billion, just 6% below 2019 levels as investors deployed capital into to more income-resilient assets, such office and logistics sectors.

Analysis in JLL’s Capital Tracker Q32021 showed that third quarter investment in Asia Pacific was US$39.5 billion, a 10% increase year-on-year. However, transactions were down by 23% quarter-on-quarter as several regional economies were impacted by the resurgence of COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions limiting activity.

“Despite ongoing unpredictability, our interactions with clients reaffirm both the attractiveness and resilience of the Asia Pacific commercial real estate sector. Throughout 2021, investor interest in the region has remained extremely high as capital becomes more active and volumes approach pre-pandemic levels across the region, which we expect will continue into the fourth quarter,” says Stuart Crow, CEO, Capital Markets, Asia Pacific, JLL.

In the third quarter of 2021, office investments continued to recover, making up 55% of deals, supported by stabilising rents and occupancy levels. In tandem, logistics transactions continue to climb, with investments in the past 12 months reaching US$43 billion, compared to US$25 billion in 2019. JLL forecasts logistics investments to double to US$50-60 billion between 2023-25, driven by favourable demand drivers, attractive yield spreads and a desire for diversification.

“Malaysia continues to be one of the favourite locations to construct data centres around the SEA region with the most recent announcement by GDS to build a 54MW hyperscale data centre in Johor.” Says YY Lau, Country Head of JLL Property Services (M) Sdn Bhd.

“We foresee more of such developments happening in the near future since the launching of the MyDigital initiative by the Malaysia Government enabling the Rakyat to embrace digitalisation and thereby enhancing the quality of life,” added Lau.

Retail and hotel investments have been soft as economic recoveries across the region were delayed due to COVID-19 outbreaks. Hotel investment volumes are set to cross US$7 billion for the full year 2021, growing to US$9 billion in 2022, JLL estimates.

By geography, activities in Australia doubled year-on-year, due to large industrial and office sales, recording over US$6.3 billion in direct investments for the quarter. Japan at US$11.8 billion (up 51% year-on-year) and South Korea at US$7 billion (up 1% year-on- year) were supported by activity from domestic REITs and investment managers. In contrast, investment activities in China ended the quarter at approximately US$7.3 billion (16% down year-on-year), while Singapore dropped to US$1.1 billion dollars (64% down year-on-year) as sentiment was dampened by COVID-19 restrictions.

“We expect portfolio reallocation to remain a major theme into 2022 with investors facing stiff competition for income-resilient assets including office and logistics, as well as in more niche sectors such as self-storage, residential and data centres. Overall, investor sentiment remains positive and we maintain our view that investment volumes will rise 15 to 20% in 2021 with further recovery expected in 2022,” says Regina Lim, Head of Capital Markets Research, Asia Pacific, JLL.