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Asia Pacific commercial property market to improve in H2

Despite a slow start to the year, Asia Pacific’s commercial property sector is expected to rise in the second half of 2014, a JLL report said today. The report revealed that transaction volumes in the region improved in Q2 to reach US$32.0 billion, up 38 percent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q). “Over the quarter, we have seen direct investment into commercial real estate in Asia Pacific improve against the traditionally slower first quarter of the year, predominantly supported by some landmark portfolio deals in the region and larger real estate investment trust (REIT) privatization.” said Stuart Crow, head of Asia Pacific capital markets at JLL. “As evidence of a strengthening leasing market gathers pace, and pent up investor demand from private equity groups, our 2014 forecast is that year-end volumes will be in line with the record levels we saw in 2013. We are expecting a very busy second half of the year,” he added. In the report, JLL said that while cross-border purchases accounted for over a third of all deals during the quarter, this can be largely attributed to the CPPIB/Dexus acquisition of the Commonwealth Property Office Fund which was also responsible for markedly increased transaction volumes in Australia which reached US$7.8 billion by quarter-end. “Mirroring the previous quarter, the larger markets of Australia and Japan accounted for the majority of the region’s transaction volumes, despite the latter slowing to US$8.4 billion, down 18 percent y-o-y,” it said. Notably, the Singapore market showed recovery from a slower start to the year to record US$2.1 billion of investments, up 4 percent year-on-year (y-o-y). However, JLL noted that despite this, the market remains down by 18 percent in the first half of the year versus the same period last year. According to JLL, “The first half saw the country’s occupier markets recover from the previous year while limited supply over the next two years has led to a positive rental outlook. Looking at ways to take advantage of this, investors are considering trading opportunities and, whilst foreign investors haven’t yet been significantly active, there is increasing interest from offshore groups.

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