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Real estate investment opportunities in ASEAN look strong for 2017, says JLL

New research highlights growth in Vietnam and Indonesia

Southeast Asia remains a bright spot amid a subdued global economic outlook, as ASEAN economies continue to grow at 5 percent per year compared to a global growth rate of 3.5 percent per year.

According to data released by real estate consultant JLL, Vietnam is a rising star in terms of real estate investment with strong opportunities in the office, residential and retail sectors. Occupancy of Grade A office space in Ho Chi Minh City exceeded 95 percent in Q4 2016, while retail occupancy in the city's CBD was over 92 percent for the same period. In the residential sector, the number of new apartments launched increased 46 percent from 2015 to 2016.

"The real estate sector in Vietnam has been hitting its stride since 2015, spurred in part by recent government reforms, such as stronger financial requirements for property developers and the relaxation of rules on foreign investment," says Chris Fossick, Managing Director, Singapore and Southeast Asia, JLL.

"With the rapid expansion of Vietnam's consumer market and the economy transitioning towards higher value activities, there have been significant levels of foreign direct investment and the construction of office, retail and hotel stock to meet growing demand. As a result, we're seeing strong demand for office space, particularly in the financial services, law, manufacturing, consumer goods and technology sectors."

Disbursed foreign direct investment (FDI) into Vietnam hit a record US$15.8 billion in 2016, while FDI into the real estate sector reached nearly US$1.7 billion at the end of 2016.

Improving outlook in other Southeast Asian markets

Elsewhere in the region, Indonesia's economy is expected to lift off, with the logistics sector garnering investor interest, according to a new report on Jakarta published by JLL. The sector has historically been held back by infrastructure and regulatory challenges. However, the Jokowi administration is making headway in improving infrastructure, easing bureaucracy and encouraging investment.

"The potential has been there for some time as Indonesia offers the scale in terms of demographics and population that is required for logistics to grow," says Mr Fossick. "With increased political and economic stability alongside a growth in demand for consumer products, e-commerce is on a growth trajectory meaning that demand for logistics space will follow."

Meanwhile, Singapore's attractiveness as a core market has become more compelling following a correction in capital values. Gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow 2.3 percent in 2017, recovering slightly from 1.8 percent in 2016.

"While demand for office, retail and food & beverage real estate slowed between 2012 and 2015, we believe this bottomed out in 2016 and we expect a modest recovery in the next couple of years. In particular, the prices of prime residential properties remain attractive to investors as compared to other global cities."

Download our report 'Jakarta until 2024: offices and industrial may outperform' here.


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About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a professional services and investment management firm offering specialized real estate services to clients seeking increased value by owning, occupying and investing in real estate.  JLL is a Fortune 500 company with, as of December 31, 2015, revenue of $6.0 billion and fee revenue of $5.2 billion, more than 280 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more than 70,000.  On behalf of its clients, the company provides management and real estate outsourcing services for a property portfolio of 4.0 billion square feet, or 372 million square meters, and completed $138 billion in sales, acquisitions and finance transactions in 2015. As of September 30, 2016, its investment management business, LaSalle Investment Management, has $59.7 billion of real estate assets under management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with 34,000 employees operating in 92 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won 15 awards at the International Property Awards Asia Pacific in 2016 and was named number one real estate advisor in Asia at the 2015 Euromoney Real Estate Awards.