Asia – still motoringAugust 7, 2011 / By Dr. Jane Murray
What a week on the stock markets! Once again, fear and panic are gripping the markets as the US and Europe grapple with major economic challenges and the prospect of a double dip recession. Over in Asia, most economies look to be in much better shape at the moment. Here in Hong Kong, the economy has been bubbling along – take retail sales which are currently up 30% on the same time last year. By some estimates, around half of total HK sales are to Chinese tourists who are buying up big on jewellery, watches and valuable items. Hong Kong’s proximity to China has certainly bolstered its overall growth and across the region, other emerging economies including India and Indonesia are still growing at a brisk pace.
In the last couple of years Asia has been a bright spot in terms of jobs growth as businesses have expanded in the region. As a result we’ve seen increased corporate requirements for office space. In fact take-up has been so strong that last year was a record. What’s more, this trend has continued into the first half of 2011. One market that’s also setting records is Beijing which is seeing an incredible level of leasing activity. Over the last twelve months the amount of occupied space in Beijing has increased by one million square metres. Just as dramatic is the trend in the vacancy rate which has plummeted from 23% a year ago to just 8% now.
There’s no doubt that global economic worries have intensified in recent months and weeks, and Asia will not be immune to any major downturn elsewhere. The general consensus though is that Asia should continue to grow at a significantly faster pace than the rest of the world during the rest of this year – in turn bolstering activity in the region’s property markets.
You can read more about the latest trends in the region’s real estate markets in our Q2 Asia Pacific Property Digest, out today. You can find the Digest as well as our other research reports and tools at our new research hub.