Asia is a secret no more. Both as a source and a destination for capital, it is very much on the institutional-investor map. Up against fierce local competition, cross-border players would do well to identify specialty sectors and immature asset classes to find greater opportunity. Real estate debt is a case in point.
From the Current Issue
Given strong urbanisation trends (with about 150 million people moving to cities in the next 10 years), a young population (with a median age of 27 years), and a fast-expanding middle class with per capita income expected to double in the next 10 years, demand for high-quality real estate should remain strong across property types.
The emerging nations of Asia surely beckon global institutional property investors, who desire diversity in their portfolios, exposure to growing markets, and higher returns than available in the sometimes-saturated real estate scene of the developed world.
The “retail apocalypse” has largely taken place in the United States and United Kingdom, but the importance of the challenges facing retail has not been lost on investors around the world. In our meetings with institutional real estate investors across the Asia Pacific region over the past year, the most common question we have been asked has been: “What will the impact of e-commerce be on retail real estate and, given this threat, is the property type un-investable?”
John Levy is president of John B Levy & Co. Levy and partner Michael Giliberto recently launched the Giliberto-Levy High Yield Real Estate Debt Index (G-L 2), which is the first third-party measure to monitor high-yield commercial mortgage debt performance.
To give you a better picture of the sentiments held by the Editorial Advisory Board for Institutional Real Estate Asia Pacific, some of their quick-tally responses are listed. In addition, some of these quick-tally findings are reflective of trends being investigated in features for this issue.
With all the talk in recent years of whether China’s economy will face a hard or soft landing, KKR’s 2018 Global Macro Outlook has a far more pointed take: “Nominal GDP in China fell 68 percent from 2011 to 2015; as such, China’s economy has already crashed, in our view.”
With the exception of the US property sector that was crushed by higher interest rates in January, most property stocks performed reasonably well to start 2018. Specifically, the Asia Pacific property sector returned 7.4 percent in January, well ahead of global property stock returns of a more modest 2.6 percent during the month.