Singapore outpaces Hong Kong in Asia-Pacific real estate deals race

Despite the dropping private investment in Singapore as a result of a weak demand, the city-state has managed to swing back at the forefront as it sealed the deal to the largest ever single-tower transaction in Asia-Pacific (APAC). (YahooNews)

The purchase of Asia Square Tower 1 in Singapore by the Qatar Investment Authority for $3.4 billion (US$3.4billion) broke the glass ceiling for the largest deal in Asia-Pacific, surpassing Hong Kong’s largest deal at HK$12.billion (US$1.6 billion) with the sale-and-leaseback of Chinese Estates’ interest in the Mass Mutual Tower to Evergrande. The third largest deal in APAC was also clinched by Hong Kong with China Everbrights’ purchase of Dah Sing Financial Centre for HK$10 billion (US$1.3 billion).

According to Knight Frank’s Asia Pacific Head of Research Nicholas Holt, the uptick in market activity has propelled Singapore and Hong Kong to their places now in the investors’ radars. “Two markets that have recently seen an uptick in activity are Singapore and Hong Kong, two of the major regional financial hubs. The largest three deals so far of 2016 were transacted in these two cities,” Holt explained.

The two city-states’ performance has subtly changed the direction of Asia-Pacific countries in the first half of 2016, with other significant transactions boosting volumes after a quiet 24 months in both markets. Meanwhile, Singapore also recorded the second largest cross-border investment volumes in the world next to United States. Out of the US$54.5 billion cross-border activity recorded in Asia-Pacific markets, US$11.9 billion are from Singapore.