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Negative returns for Asia property last year -IPD

HONG KONG: Asia's property market posted a negative return of 0.2 percent in 2009, with Japan offering the least and Hong Kong the most, the Investment Property Databank (IPD) said on Monday, Oct 25.

IPD, a global property index provider, said in a report that the unleveraged return of -0.2% was the weighted composite of seven markets - China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

The index was largely dragged down by Japan, which had a negative return of 0.6% and carried the biggest weighting, while Hong Kong offered the highest return of 15.4% for last year, followed by Thailand and Malaysia.

Retail was the best performing sector, followed by industrial and logistics, while office space fared the worst, the London-based IPD said.

IPD, which is providing detailed figures for Asia for the first time, based its research on valuation and income data for 3,363 assets in 135 investment portfolios with a total value of $170 billion (RM530 billion) in 2009.

IPD did not give specific reasons for the performances.

Many Asian markets, such as Hong Kong, China and Singapore, saw property prices rise in the second half of last year, especially in the residential sector, prompting worries of asset bubbles growing out of hand.

For instance, Hong Kong's property prices rose by a third in 2009 and have risen another 15% since the beginning of this year. Office rents were also up on a lack of supply.

On the other hand, Japan's property market remained generally sluggish because of its stagnant economy. -- Reuters
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