- Prime office rental markets in most cities remained in a down cycle in 1H/2021, with rental movements ranging from -6.9% (Brisbane) to 2.2% (Seoul). Nonetheless, strenuous economic stimulus measures started to pay off, with signs of recovery seen in more cities. Seoul, Hanoi and Shanghai recorded the highest growth rates, registering a 2.2%, 2.1% and 0.7% increase respectively. Supply pressure has begun to put various Chinese markets under downside trend despite strong recovery. Demand for the US dollar over 1H/2021 has driven a significant depreciation in various currencies in the region, especially in Japan. Tokyo’s average prime rent dropped from US9.4 to US5.5 per sq m per month, a 7.7% decrease in US dollar terms, while a much smaller decline was presented in Yen, with a 1.1% drop.
- Prime retail markets have recovered slightly from previous disruptions and lockdowns, with rental movements ranging from -7.8% (Singapore) to 1.7% (Guangzhou). Luxury retail performance has high rebound in China due to strong local consumption amid travel restriction. Meanwhile, Taiwan succumbed to a large-scale community outbreak in May despite efforts to maintain safety measures, and the subsequent lockdown restricted the footfall in prime retail areas in Taipei (-4.3%). The surging cases of COVID variants in Southeast Asia and the restrictions in response limited the chances of an early upswing, with Singapore recording the most significant decline (-7.7%). These downside factors look set to continue in early 2H/2021, but it is clear that the relief measures deployed by governments and generally higher vaccination rates will aid market recovery.
- The logistics market, a key focus of the region in recent years, has continued to go from strength to strength with rental movements ranging from 0.1% (Singapore) to 8.2% (Kuala Lumpur). Increasing manufacturing activity in Malaysia, especially in the E&E sector, together with the global shift in retail consumer behavior habits to online retail contributed to the surge in rents for Kuala Lumpur logistics. In Hong Kong, demand for cold storage facilities, warehouses and data centers is driving up rents, with a 3.6% increase. Meanwhile e-commerce and domestic consumption fueled demand for logistics space in China, with Beijing (+0.7%), Shenzhen (+1.7%), Guangzhou (+2.1%) and Shanghai (+0.3%) remaining in an early upswing.
- Luxury apartment rental markets presented a mixed picture. Hong Kong remained the most expensive city in the region to rent a luxury apartment, even with a slight decline over 1H/2021 (-0.8%). In China, market sentiment clearly regained momentum, with Beijing (+3.8%), Guangzhou (+2.0%), Shenzhen (+0.8%) and Shanghai (+0.9%) all registering growth. In Manila and Kuala Lumpur, rents dropped by 1.1% and 1.7% respectively.
- The hotel markets posted diverse results, with room rates ranging from -31.9% (Manila) to +26.9% (Beijing). Cities with high growth figures can mostly be attributed to the gradual stabilization of the pandemic, compared to a much lower base in 1H/2020, such as Hong Kong (+10.8%), Shenzhen (8.4%) and Singapore (6.7%). Cities which rely heavily on international tourists have seen room rates slashed amid the ongoing travel restrictions, including Ho Chi Minh City (-10.4%), Hanoi (-10.3%) and Kuala Lumpur (-15.2%). Tokyo remained the most expensive hotel market in the region, with average rates of US4.4 per room per night.
Note: All % changes are in local currency terms unless otherwise stated