The double open park at Taikoo Li Qiantan, a retail complex in Shanghai. (CHEN YUYU / FOR CHINA DAILY)
The volume of commercial real estate investments in the Chinese mainland reached $7.3 billion in the third quarter of 2021, and the full-year amount is expected to surpass that of 2020, a report released by global real estate advisor JLL said.
The combined volume of commercial real estate investments in the first three quarters in the Chinese mainland amounted to 170 billion yuan ($26.7 billion), and JLL predicted the full-year figure will exceed that of 2020, when it nearly hit 200 billion yuan.
Accounting for 49 percent of the total volume in the third quarter, Shanghai remained the top destination for commercial real estate investments across China. The weight of Beijing and Guangzhou, Guangdong province, declined to some extent from the previous quarter while Shenzhen, Guangdong province, recorded a significant increase to 7.3 percent of the total.
"Commercial business development in Shanghai is healthy and sustainable. The vibrant city is full of opportunities and takes the lead among Chinese cities in many aspects," said Kamsen Lau, CEO of Lifestyle International Holdings Ltd.
After nearly 10 years of development, Lifestyle International officially launched its first commercial complex in the Chinese mainland, namely the Shanghai Jiuguang Center, Lau said. There are more than 400 brands in the center, about 30 percent of which debuted in Shanghai or North Shanghai.
JLL statistics show that office investments took the lion's share, or 57.6 percent, of the volume of commercial real estate investments in the third quarter, up 14.2 percent quarter-on-quarter.
Eight office spaces in China, including Beijing Financial Street, Beijing's Central Business District and Shanghai's Pudong New Area, were listed among the world's top 20 most expensive office spaces in 2021, said JLL's latest Global Premium Office Rent Tracker.
The investment volume of logistics properties, especially those located in the Yangtze River Delta region, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region and the Chengdu-Chongqing city cluster, remained bullish in the third quarter, which was preferred by institutional investors.
The volume of commercial real estate investments in the Asia-Pacific region reached $125 billion in the first three quarters, up 30 percent from the same period in 2020, according to JLL.
"Throughout 2021, investor interest in the Asia-Pacific region remained extremely high as capital became more active and the volume of investment approached pre-pandemic levels across the region," said Stuart Crow, CEO of capital markets with JLL Asia-Pacific.
Supported by stabilized rents and occupancy rates, office investments continued to recover in the third quarter, taking up 55 percent of the total volume of commercial real estate investments in the region. In the meantime, logistics property investments continued to grow, with investments reaching $43 billion in the past 12 months, compared to $25 billion in 2019.
JLL forecast that driven by demand, attractive investment yields and a desire for diversified portfolios, logistics property investments may double to $50-$60 billion over the 2023-25 period.
Retail and hotel investments in the Asia-Pacific have been soft due to COVID-19. However, the volume of full-year hotel investments may surpass $7 billion in 2021 and could increase to $9 billion in 2022, the JLL report said.