News release

Asia Pacific commercial real estate investment increases by 13% in the first quarter

Investment volumes in the first quarter of 2024 totalled US$30.5 billion, representing the only region globally to see year-on-year growth

May 02, 2024

Yvonne Liu

Public Relations Director, Hong Kong and Macao
+852 28465264

HONG KONG, 2 May 2024 Asia Pacific was the only region globally to see growth in commercial real estate investment in Q1 2024, with investment volumes reaching US$30.5 billion. According to data and analysis by global real estate consulting firm JLL, commercial real estate investments rose by 13% year-on-year (YoY) in Q1 2024, marking the second quarterly YoY increase after seven consecutive quarters of decreasing volumes.

The increase in investment volume comes amid global investors making major acquisitions, while institutional investors continue to deploy capital. North Asia led the growth of the region, with Japan emerging as Asia Pacific's most active market, with an investment of US$11.5 billion, a 29% YoY increase, across the quarter. Domestic buyers focused on core assets in Japan, while foreign capital demonstrated interest in opportunistic investments. Overseas investors remained interested in Japan, with large acquisitions made in the office, logistics and industrial sectors, due to its loose financial conditions, positive yield spreads, and weak currency.

South Korea attracted US$4.3 billion in investments, a significant 73% YoY increase, with office dominating the sector for investment given its stable fundamentals, low vacancy rates and bullish leasing demand. Singapore (US$2.2 billion) recorded a 14% YoY growth in investments owed to capital allocation pivoting towards retail assets, which have a positive rental outlook and yield spreads. Hong Kong volumes reached US$0.7 billion, falling 54% YoY. The investment market was quiet bar a notable disposal of a neighbourhood shopping centre by a local developer.

"The first quarter reflects a continued appetite from investors looking to capitalise on Asia Pacific's strong economic fundamentals and attractive pricing opportunities across markets and asset classes," said Stuart Crow, CEO, Asia Pacific Capital Markets, JLL. "We are seeing renewed interest from domestic and cross-border sources targeting a diverse range of risk profiles."

Across Asia Pacific, office remained the most active sector, though volumes dipped 1% YoY (US$12.6 billion). Logistics and industrial and retail all recorded volume growth at 36% (US$7.8 billion) and 8% (US$5.7 billion) YoY, respectively. Additionally, cross-border sectors such as logistics and industrial, retail, and living witnessed YoY growth despite pricing uncertainty sentiments, which continued to keep cross-border activities modest.

"Hong Kong’s investment market was quiet as interest rates remained elevated. While overall investment volumes lingered at low levels, the gradual return of inbound tourists could potentially give fresh impetus to investment activities. Retail was the most sought-after sector, while the local investors have shown interest in high street shops in traditional tourist districts. With the government's relaxation of the maximum loan-to-value ratio from 60% to 70% for non-residential properties valued at below HK$30 million, investment momentum in commercial properties is likely to improve. Notably, it is expected that rents for private student accommodation will continue to increase due to the growing number of non-local students. Private student accommodation will be a new investment property asset and attract the attention from the investors," said Oscar Chan, Head of Capital Markets, JLL, HK.

Within the region's other major economies, Australia (US$3.0 billion), mainland China (US$5.6 billion) and Hong Kong (US$0.7 billion) experienced a decline in investment volume compared to the previous year. Australia and mainland China saw a deterioration of a 19% YoY drop, while Hong Kong registered a more substantial 54% YoY decrease.

"Uncertainty surrounding interest rates continues to influence investment activity in Asia Pacific, but we have seen a partial rebound and recovery in 2024 as markets recalibrate their expectations," said Pamela Ambler, Head of Investor Intelligence, Asia Pacific, JLL. "Sentiment continues to be influenced by the strong U.S. economy despite higher base rates, potentially leading to a prolonged path to the beginning of a reduction cycle. Looking ahead, we expect further investment activity as repricing sets new benchmarks for trade, and investors adapt their portfolios and strategies to the current rate environment."

Learn more in JLL's Q1 2024 Capital Tracker.

About JLL

For over 200 years, JLL (NYSE: JLL), a leading global commercial real estate and investment management company, has helped clients buy, build, occupy, manage and invest in a variety of commercial, industrial, hotel, residential and retail properties. A Fortune 500® company with annual revenue of $20.8 billion and operations in over 80 countries around the world, our more than 106,000 employees bring the power of a global platform combined with local expertise. Driven by our purpose to shape the future of real estate for a better world, we help our clients, people and communities SEE A BRIGHTER WAYSM. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit