Singapore beats Tokyo and Sydney to take top spot in APAC investment market: ULI and PwC

The US$4 billion in deals that Singapore saw was an increase of 73 per cent from last year, the report said.
The Business Times

Looking to spend big on real estate? Look no further.

Singapore now has the best investment prospects in the Asia Pacific region, according to a real estate forecast published jointly by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and PwC on Tuesday (Nov 12).

Based on the opinions of 460 real estate professionals, the “Emerging Trends” report said that Singapore trumped consistent high-prospect cities like Tokyo (#2), Sydney (#4) and Melbourne (#5).

This reflects overall investor preference for regional markets that are large, liquid and defensive, the report said.

The only outlier was Ho Chi Minh City – which is listed in third place – as it’s the only emerging market to be viewed favourably by investors due to its strong economic growth.

According to the report, Singapore’s ranking is due to a surge in transactions in the first half of the year, with most activity driven by cross-border capital.

Citing Real Capital Analytics (RCA), the report said that the US$4 billion (S$5.4 billion) in deals that the country saw was an annual increase of 73 per cent.

The closest other country in terms of growth was Australia, where volume rose three per cent to US$11.9 billion.

Singapore’s office sector has largely absorbed the oversupply of recent years, and with vacancies at an all-time low and limited amount of new supply, confidence in medium-term prospects has returned, the report said.

In particular, Singapore is seeing an uptick of interest from investors who are currently avoiding mainland China and Hong Kong SAR, both of which are seen as “geopolitical flashpoints”, the companies added.

In particular, Hong Kong – which is already typically ranked in the lower half due to high prices – came in dead last, thanks to months of protests suffered in the city.

Yeow Chee Keong, real estate and hospitality leader at PwC Singapore, said in a statement that the city-state’s pole position is a “testament to its strong fundamentals and investors’ needs for defensive assets with the uncertain economic climate”.

“There are still investment opportunities, and we continue to see increased investors’ interest in alternative asset classes, including data centres, purpose built student accommodation and healthcare,” he added.

The Republic was also ranked second in the development market, behind Ho Chi Minh City.

Here are the 22 cities ranked, according to investment prospects and development prospects for 2020.

Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2020 Survey

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