- May 1, 2013: Volume 5, Number 5

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Strata-spheric outcomes: Multiple ownerships in buildings encourage asset bubble formation

by Megan Walters

Multiple ownership of buildings through physical division, with each owner owning a floor, or part of a floor, can amplify potential asset price bubbles in a city’s commercial real estate market as well as be a detriment to the quality of urban life.

Cities with a relatively high proportion of commercial buildings in multiple ownership, through strata-title or deeds mutual covenant, are most at risk of mispricing the relationship between achievable rents and the capital values investors will pay. The data show that in Asia Pacific the greatest proportion of multiple ownership transactions take place in Hong Kong, by quite some margin, which may put the city at risk of mispricing.


Hong Kong and Singapore, along with other jurisdictions in Asia Pacific, have land ownership systems that were influenced by land tenure based on English common law. The significant difference between these cities and London is the extent to which multiple

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