Asian property market weathers sub-prime rate storm

March 13th, 2008 - 8:03 pm ICT by admin  

Bangkok, March 13 (DPA) Asia’s property markets weathered last year’s global financial storm triggered by the sub-prime crisis in the US and are expected to perform well in 2008, Jones Lang LaSalle predicted in its latest Asia Pacific Property Digest. “Rental and capital value growth over the past 12 months has been generally strong, exceeding expectations in some markets, while yields have held firm or compressed. Investment volumes in Asia Pacific also held up well in 2007,” said Jones Lang LaSalle, one of the leading real estate consultants in Asia.

Bangkok was an exception in the region.

“Unlike most cities in Asia Pacific, the Bangkok property market has been relatively subdued over the past 12 months with demand growing slowly,” said Suphin Mechuchep, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle (Thailand).

The Thai capital’s subdued property performance was attributed to political uncertainty and concerns over hiking oil prices, rising cost of living, slowdown in the US economy, and the strengthening of the baht currency.

In the retail sector, expansion and higher rents are anticipated in 2008.

“Further rental increases are expected in nearly all markets, an exception being Beijing, where we shall see the completion of numerous shopping centres,” said Jane Murray, head of research for the Asia Pacific at Jones Lang LaSalle.

While Jones Lang LaSalle was generally optimistic about Asia’s property prospects in 2008, it did highlight certain risks on the horizon.

“There are a number of risks that require a careful watching brief, notably the high probability of an economic slowdown in the US and the impact of ongoing financial market strain,” said Murray.

“At the same time, the massive structural changes that are occurring in Asia Pacific - the opening up of economies to foreign players, increasing urbanisation and incomes, improving property market transparency to name a few - will continue to create a wealth of opportunities for the real estate industry,” Murray added.

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