Asia-Pacific recorded $34.4 billion in total real estate transactions in the second quarter of 2019, a 19 percent year-on-year drop, according to a report by Real Capital Analytics.
The only exception to an otherwise quiet second quarter was Australia, which had $8.4 billion worth of transactions, compared with $7.3 billion in the same period last year. This increase of 13 percent is largely due to the positive sentiment brought by the national election, concluded in May, and growing foreign capital inflows, which have also boosted domestic investors’ confidence.
David Green-Morgan, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Real Capital Analytics, explained in the report that the outperformance of Australia was due to a “sharp uptick in the consolidation of property ownership over the period and a handful of large domestic deals”.
The US-China trade war and general economic slowdown has affected investment sentiment elsewhere in the market. The first half of this year saw total transaction volume in Asia-Pacific drop 20 percent year-on-year from around $90 billion to $72.2 billion.
According to Green-Morgan, however, the general slowdown across the region is “less gloomy than it may at first appear”. In his view, 2018 witnessed several record-breaking deals that boosted last year’s numbers.
Barring Australia, all other top real estate markets have witnessed a significant decrease in quarterly transaction volumes. China and Japan both recorded the lowest in a decade with $3.2 billion and $5.3 billion respectively.
Despite a seemingly slow first half, the research firm is predicting a positive outlook for rest of the year. It expects the transaction volumes in the region will bounce back, especially as it has already recorded $10 billion worth of completed transactions in the third quarter, with another $20 billion transactions in the pipeline.