Hong Kong is Fifth Global Top City for Investment and Second Favorite Destination for Cross-Border Investors

October 11, 2018 - 14:50
Hong Kong is Fifth Global Top City for Investment and Second Favorite Destination for Cross-Border Investors

  • Cushman& Wakefield's 'Winning in Growth Cities' report shows Asian investorsbehind 18% increase in capital deployed
  • Hong Kongrises up rankings to make global fifth for international investment, behindglobal top New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris
  • Londonstrengthened its position as the city attracting most overseas investment,growing 22% year-on-year, followed by Hong Kong.


HONGKONG, CHINA - MediaOutReach - 11 October 2018 - Despite geopolitical uncertainty and a slowing in the economic cycle,investment in the global property market has seen a significant rise of 18%year-on-year to a new record high of $1.8tn (2017: $1.5tn), according to theresearch from Cushman & Wakefield.


'Winning in Growth Cities' isan annual report which examines global commercial real estate investmentactivity, assessing cities by their success at attracting capital.


The 18% increase incommercial real estate investment is being led by Asia, both as a source ofcapital and as an investment destination, with investment in Asia accounting for52% of all activity and Asian buyers responsible for 45% of all cross-borderinvestment.


Carlo Barel di Sant'Albano, Head of Global Capital Markets at Cushman& Wakefield, said: "There is noshortage of capital targeting real estate across myriad geographies and riskprofiles. Indeed, we are seeing many investors increasing their allocations toreal estate and they are evolving their strategies to allow for variable supplyand risk tolerances. These are the key factors determining whether volumes risefurther still; given the current environment, volumes could exceed currentlevels by up to 2% next year. This is likely to be led by global buying, butinvestors need to keep a close eye on structural shifts in the occupationalmarket as both an opportunity and a challenge."


David Hutchings, Head of Investment Strategy, EMEA Capital Markets atCushman & Wakefield and author ofthe report, commented: "There are clear, and many would say growing, risksin the macro environment, but there is little to suggest the cycle is set toend or that a recession is looming. Inflation is proving to be less of a threatthan feared as we continue to enjoy steady economic growth. However, pricesignals will be enough to keep central banks in a tightening mood in most areasand the slow but sure rise in interest rates, and reduction of quantitativeeasing driven liquidity, will therefore continue.


"What may be new in theyear ahead is the potential for supply to increase as some switch strategy andtake profits, others get caught by rising borrowing costs and a need to raisecapital, and more seek out partners to jointly invest and develop."


Francis Li, International Director and Head of Capital Markets, GreaterChina at Cushman & Wakefield, added: "Chinameanwhile is likely to feature more on global buy lists going forward,following moves by President Xi to ease entry requirements for foreigninvestors. Tier 1 Mainland cities and Hong Kong will be the key focuses, but agreater share of investment will target decentralized and emerging CBDlocations due to a shortage of opportunities and high prices in the CBDs, aswell as new supply and transport improvements in these new areas."


James Shepherd, Managing Director of Research, Greater China at Cushman& Wakefield, commented: "Theprevailing tight lending situation in China will lead to a softening in newcommercial development, but will also produce more opportunities for foreignparticipation in the form of JVs and debt. Government initiatives are expectedto continue to support growth, including the Greater Bay Area, Belt & RoadInitiative and wider urban renewal schemes. China's tier 2 and 3 cities,particularly those linked to the Belt & Road Initiative such as Chengdu andChongqing, will continue to record strong growth in logistics investment."


At a city level, New Yorkremains out in front as the largest real estate city market in the world,followed by Los Angeles and London, with Paris rising strongly to take fourthspot ahead of Hong Kong. Among international buyers, London remainsunassailable, with New York slipping from second to sixth place thanks to highpricing, the strong dollar and keenly competitive local demand.


Among the top 10 cities foroverall investment, six are in the US, with Europe and Asia with tworepresentatives each. Despite political uncertainty surrounding the nature ofthe UK's exit from the European Union, London has retained its position as theprimary European market, owing in particular to a number of high-profile officetransactions.


The strongest Asian market isHong Kong, up 68% compared to 2017, moving up three places to become the firstcity from the region to make the global top 5 for three years. Investment inAsian cities is predominantly the preserve of domestic capital, althoughregional investors have increased their market share over the year.


Toronto is the first Canadian city to enter the top 25 in five years, asheightened interest increased volumes by 50% year-on-year. Beyond these bigmovers the make-up of the top 25 has changed very little, with their marketshare representing 49% of total volumes, down from 50% at the same point lastyear.

At a regional level,total transaction growth in North America is lacklustre, increasing by just0.6% year-on-year. Elsewhere volumes have improved at their strongest rate inthree years. Totals in the Asia Pacific region are up 32% on the year, whileEuropean transaction growth has increased by more than 16%.


For the first time onrecord, New York has been relegated from the top 5 targets for cross-borderinvestment. This is partly being driven by geopolitical tensions causing apull-back in investment from some players but is still more a product of ahighly competitive and strongly priced market. Despite there being no North Americanrepresentation within the core 5 targets, six of the region's cities retained apresence in the top 25 overall, the same as 2017.


For the ninth time in10 years, London is the top city for attracting international real estateinvestment. Having increased transaction volumes into London by 47% over theyear to $10.9bn, Asian investors are the strongest source of cross-bordercapital into the city, with offices the overwhelming target for these deals, asthe sector attracts a 94% market share of APAC flows into London.


Europe accounts forfour of the top 5 spots for international capital, with Paris and Amsterdamretaining third and fourth place for the second year and Madrid making the topfive for the first time since 2009. The only German city in the top 10 isBerlin, marking a change from the country's dominance in 2017 when three citiesappeared, the most it has ever had. However, German cities continue to see verybuoyant levels of demand and maintained a healthy representation in the top 25city targets for cross-border investors.


Hong Kong moves up 14places to second place, the result of capital controls encouraging mainlandChinese investors to concentrate their allocations closer to home, resulting incontinental investment in the city rising by 259% year-on-year.


Asian cities accountfor three of the top 10 in 2018 compared to none the year before, as Shanghaiand Tokyo improved as targets for cross-border capital. By comparison, whileeight APAC cities made the top 25 in 2017, this is down to five this time, asstrong domestic demand and stock shortages have impacted the market.


Please click here todownload the full report.


About Cushman & Wakefield

Cushman & Wakefield (NYSE: CWK) is a leading globalreal estate services firm that delivers exceptional value by putting ideas intoaction for real estate occupiers and owners. Cushman & Wakefield is amongthe largest real estate services firms with 48,000 employees in approximately400 offices and 70 countries. Across Greater China, there are 20 officesservicing the local market. The company won four of the top awards in theEuromoney Survey 2017 & 2018 in the categories of Overall, Agency Letting/Sales,Valuation and Research in China. In 2017, the firm had revenue of $6.9 billionacross core services of property, facilities and project management, leasing,capital markets, advisory and other services. To learn more, visit www.cushmanwakefield.com.hk or follow us onLinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/cushman-&-wakefield-greater-china)