The real estate sector in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is projected to stabilize in the second half of 2023, on the back of improving macroeconomic conditions. Experts predict that as inflation eases and interest rates reach their peak, investors in the region will have exceptional opportunities.
Several key themes have emerged across the real estate markets in the region. Offices will continue to be the go-to asset class although the pandemic has had a deep and lasting impact on how people work and the concept of the workplace. A joint report by PwC and Urban Land Institute reveals that the demand for modern, high-quality office buildings remains strong, even as hybrid and remote work practices continue. Additionally, multifamily build-to-rent developments are gaining traction in APAC, with investors exploring opportunities in Australia and China.
Meanwhile, although Singapore remains an attractive destination for foreign investors, emerging markets such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are gaining momentum. These markets offer high rates of economic growth and boast emerging consumer classes, according to the report.
Sustainability Considerations Transform Real Estate
In the Philippines, the real estate sector is evolving to the next level, with one of the largest property developers in the country, Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI), leading the transformation. The group’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the projects it undertakes—from its integrated mixed-use developments to luxurious residences spearheaded by its two business units Ayala Land Estates and Ayala Land Premier.
“Our vision extends beyond real estate development,” says Robert Lao, Group Head of Ayala Land Estates. “We aim to create thriving sustainable communities that provide diverse growth opportunities and inclusive spaces to all. It’s about planning for a mix of developments and spaces that nurture the environment, social and economic growth.”
Boasting a robust portfolio spanning over 45 sustainable estates across the country, ALI is the mastermind behind the nation’s most prominent mixed-use developments, including the Makati Central Business District, Bonifacio Global City, Cebu Business Park and Nuvali.
Indeed, sustainability is a common theme across markets in Asia as investors are placing a greater emphasis on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria and ratings of real estate. Over in Hong Kong, Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) is transforming the city’s skyline with its iconic and environmentally friendly developments. Its latest project, the High-Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus Development (XRL Development), aspires to be more than another office complex, combining work and leisure elements for the well-being of tenants. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the XRL Development incorporates low-carbon design and materials, including photovoltaic panels at roof levels and portions of the facade.
The project has received numerous sustainability accolades including LEED Platinum, BREEAM Excellent rating, BEAM Plus (Platinum), WELL (Platinum), China Green Building Label (3 star) and China Healthy Building Label (3 star).
As real estate investors look ahead, many will be drawn to APAC’s resilient and dynamic market with cautious optimism.