Asia Pacific commercial real estate investment volume fell to US$22.6 billion in Q1 2020, representing a decline of 23% y-o-y* and marking the lowest quarterly total in almost three years, according to the latest data from CBRE.

Turnover in the office (US$14 billion, up 2.5% y-o-y) and industrial (US$3.6 billion, down 4% y-o-y) sectors was firm but a sharp decline in retail deals (US$2.5 billion, down 45.8% y-o-y) combined with a fall in hotel investment (US$2.2 billion, down 14.3% y-o-y) pulled down overall transaction volume.
 
With the COVID-19 outbreak erupting in late January and continuing to impact economic activity in key markets across the region, the decline in transaction volume was widely expected as investors moved into wait-and-see mode, delayed investment decisions and site inspections, and other phases of the deal process were disrupted.

Transactions in China fell 32% and 72% in Hong Kong

Transaction volume in Mainland China fell 32% y-o-y to US$7.3 billion as investment activity weakened substantially from late-January following the imposition of a nationwide lockdown. While several large deals were completed earlier in the year, these had all been under negotiation since the second half of 2019.

In Hong Kong SAR, transaction volume reached just US$963 million, a decline of 72% y-o-y and the second lowest quarterly total since Q2 2009. Fewer than 20 deals were completed during the quarter, all by local capital.

Fewer than 20 deals were completed in Hong Kong during the quarter

Fewer than 20 deals were completed in Hong Kong during the first quarter

Other downbeat markets included Singapore, where investment volume fell 30% y-o-y to US$975 million, a figure that is expected to decline further in the coming quarters amid local stock market volatility and the implementation of a lockdown for…

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