- December 1, 2013: Volume 5, Number 11

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Beyond the growth story: Value-add strategies exist for generating attractive investment returns in Asia without relying on economic growth

by John So and Doreen Yu

The Asian growth narrative has been subject to extensive coverage in the media. However, when it comes to real estate investing in Asia, the story is about much more than just growth.

In terms of aggregate size, Asian commercial real estate markets are now approaching those of North America and Europe and, similar to conditions in those regions, in Asia we believe that “income is expensive but bricks are cheap”. These conditions have created attractive opportunities for value-add strategies and excellent risk-adjusted returns.

With Asia GDP growth expected to remain positive but variable over the long term, we have identified four strategies that have the potential to generate attractive investment returns without relying on economic growth. These strategies are:

• Acquiring high-yielding, discounted assets from financially distressed owners

• Capturing unusually wide rental differentials through extensive asset repositioning

• Creating s

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