#City&Country:* Foreign briefs

DTZ sees positive sentiment translated into higher investment in Asia-Pacific
Total commercial real estate investment transactions in Asia-Pacific reached an estimated US$17.1 billion (RM58.5 billion) in 3Q2009, 50% higher than in 2Q, according to a DTZ report. The strong investment recovery comes after the volume fell to a low of US$4.3 billion in 4Q2008. The increase in investment was more evident in major markets such as China, Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore. “Activity across the region continues to be driven mainly by private domestic purchasers, although a growing interest from the institutions is emerging,” says David Green-Morgan, head of Asia-Pacific research at DTZ.

Hong Kong’s residential market back to pre-Lehman days
The Hong Kong residential market has seen a 25% rebound in prices since March and recorded a rise in rental in 3Q, all pointing to a market recovery. The home-sales market was the first to recover and the leasing market appears to be at or very near the bottom of the cycle. “With growing confidence in a global economic recovery, we have witnessed many large occupiers of space start planning for increasing head counts in 2010 and beyond,” says Richard Kirke, Colliers International Hong Kong’s managing director.

The luxury residential market saw the biggest and quickest rebound, with buyers favouring mid-tier units priced from HK$20 million (RM8.8 million) to HK$50 million. Demand for top-tier units priced at HK$50 million or more was also strong and, with limited stock available in traditional luxury residential areas such as the Peak and the South Side, significant price increases were recorded. Luxury residential property prices rose some 9.6% q-o-q to HK$14,200 psf as at end-August. Prices are currently only 5% below the peak just before the financial crisis in September 2008. “Some individual units have actually surpassed their previous highs,” notes Ricky Poon, Colliers’ executive director of residential sales. “We anticipate that the market will set new peaks again in the next 12 months.”

Ascott Group secures seventh serviced apartment contract in Vietnam
The Ascott Group, CapitaLand’s serviced apartment arm, secured a contract to manage a serviced residence property in Vietnam’s third largest city, Hai Phong, which will be called Somerset Central TD Hai Phong. This will be Ascott’s first serviced residence property in the coastal city and its seventh in Vietnam, bringing its total portfolio in the country to 1,182 units. The serviced apartment property is part of landmark TD Plaza, a mixed-use development with a five-storey shopping centre, an office block and two towers of residential apartments. - Compiled by The Edge Singapore

This article appeared in City & Country, the property pullout of The Edge Malaysia, Issue 776, Oct 12-18, 2009.

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