A good start to the year

January 7, 2013 / By

Asia fared better than other regions last year, but it too has not been immune to what’s been happening in the world’s economies over the last 12 months. This is evident given the new economic data from Singapore which shows that Singapore narrowly missed slipping into a recession in the fourth quarter with economic growth of only 1.8% (Q-o-Q annualised) in the fourth quarter.

So, now with 2012 in the past, what will 2013 have in store?

Well, certainly if the start to the New Year is anything to go by, things globally are looking a little rosier. Before I’d even set foot back into the office, the US fiscal cliff deal had bolstered equities markets around the globe; the FTSE was over the 6,000 mark for the first time in 18 months, and the Hang Seng up over 3%. Indeed as at the 4th of January, these bourses are up considerably on a y-o-y basis, nearly 12% and 30% respectively.

Being in the research business I understand just how important quality information is. Our clients buy the Real Estate Intelligence Service (REIS) for a reason, sometimes they need concrete historical data and forecasts, sometimes they need access to observations and people on the ground.

On this basis, and given I’ve just completed my busiest time of the year out and about meeting up with clients and potential clients to discuss their plans for the year ahead, I thought I’d bring you some of my take-aways. Hopefully some of these high level observations may provide a little insight as to what may be in-store for us in Asia Pacific’s real estate markets in 2013.

By observation, there seems to be an air of confidence regarding Asia Pacific going into 2013. The region in general is very much on investors’ radars, possibly even more so than before. Interestingly, South East Asia which had not been in the sights of some clients, seems to be back on the agenda. China is still very much in favour and I continue to see increased interested in our REIS services for this market – something which I think bodes well given that this is a potential leading indicator for where clients may deploy capital.

Clients new and old alike, seem to be focusing their sights and refining their strategies – especially on the debt and investment front. For some investors 2011/2012 was a period of restructure, however with these restructures mainly worked through and now with tighter leaner teams at the fore, these investors are now in better shape to move forwards in 2013.

Indeed, if the latest RMB billion land transaction in Beijing is anything to go by, the highest premium paid at auction in two years, then the sun is still shining!

A Happy New Year, may it be good to all of us!

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