December ends rocky 2016 for Asia Pacific property stocks
December 2016 capped off a very tough quarter — and highly-volatile year— for both Asia Pacific and global property stocks, with the markets declining 8.7 percent and 5.7 percent, respectively, in the fourth quarter. During December specifically, Asia Pacific property stocks were down 2.5 percent, which lagged well behind global property stocks, at 1.4 percent. Asia Pacific property stocks also lagged for the full year, barely registering positive returns — at 1.3 percent — compared with global property stocks’ return of 5.5 percent (based on SNL Financial data, with quoted country returns in local currency, and regional indexes quoted in US dollars). This compares with global stock total returns for 2016 of 7.9 percent (MSCI ACWI Index). With REITs outperforming during December, both for the region (up 1.1 percent) and globally (up 3.9 percent), it seemed the initial negative impact of overall higher interest rates on the property sector was waning.