- November 1, 2019: Vol. 11, Number 10

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What’s in a niche? Asia Pacific demographics and macrotrends point to great growth potential for niche assets, but major cultural and behavioural barriers can dampen demand

by Mard Naman

Is finding your niche getting easier in the Asia Pacific region? With intense competition for traditional core assets in gateway cities, the majority of global investors are now pursuing alternatives, according to CBRE. From student housing, logistics and senior housing to newer segments such as co-working, the demand for niche asset types in Asia Pacific is driven by many of the same trends experienced in North America, according to Tom Errath, director of research and strategy for Harrison Street Real Estate Capital.

These include a growing older population, increasing college enrolment and increasing levels of affluence, combined with overall population growth. “These asset classes are less mature in many Asian markets, but that creates opportunity for investors,” says Errath.

Asia Pacific is at the epicentre of many mega­trends affecting niche — and all other — real estate sectors, believes Harry Tan, head of research for Nuveen Real Estate. This includes

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