The volume of global commercial real estate transactions is expected to increase around 30 percent this year from a year ago to US$478 billion, with Asia the most active region, according to a report released Wednesday by property consultants Cushman & Wakefield.
Last year the global volume plunged 23 percent on-year to $365 billion, the lowest since 2003, amid the worldwide financial crisis. The volume could surpass the estimate for this year if the world economy continues to recover, C&W said.
The firm predicted the Asia-Pacific region to keep leading the recovery in the real estate market this year as it did last year. The region expanded its share to 59 percent of the global volume, outpacing Europe and the U.S. The property market in the region will grow 20 percent on-year in transaction volume (in money terms) this year, maintaining its lead, C&W said.
China saw the most brisk property trading in the world last year as investment in the country soared 143 percent from 2008, and C&W forecast that China will continue to dominate the world market this year. The firm said that besides China, many investors are keeping an eye on markets with affluent liquidity such as France, Germany and the U.K. In the second half of this year investment activity will increase in the U.S. as well, it added.
Meanwhile, the rental yield, or price/rent ratio, is forecast to decline this year. The yield averaged 7.8 percent in the global market last year, down 0.2 percentage point from a year earlier, and is likely to decline by 0.25-0.5 point this year.