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COMMERCIAL PROPERTY, MARKETS & INVESTING | Staff Reporter, Singapore
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Chart of the Day: Commercial property investments soared 72% to $2.62b in Q1 as Singapore bucks APAC decline

Office assets were the main engines in pushing transaction volumes forward.

This chart from Real Capital Analytics (RCA) shows that Singapore's commercial property investments in Q1 2019 were characterised by a diverse range of transactions in the retail and office, as well as industrial sectors.

Singapore bucked the downtrend that faced every other major national Asia Pacific (APAC) real estate market in Q1 2019, with commercial real estate investment jumping 72% YoY to $2.62b (US$1.9b), according to RCA's latest Asia Pacific Capital Trends report.

“Activity has been well diversified with an increase in transactions in the office, retail and industrial markets. On the back of supportive occupier markets, investors are locking in higher rents,” the report’s authors explained.

Across the region’s metropolitan markets, Singapore ranked sixth in commercial real estate investment, lagging behind Seoul and Shanghai. Investments totaling $6.2b (US$4.5b) lifted Beijing into the top spot during the quarter, from seventh place in 2018 thanks to two mega-deals of over $1.79b (US$1.3b). Hong Kong nabbed second place amongst Asia Pacific metropolitan markets at $6.07b (US$4.4b), and Tokyo came in third at $5.381b (US$3.9b).

Whilst office assets were the mainstay of transaction volumes, retail assets broadly proved to be the flavour of Q1 2019, increasing by 8% YoY as investors bought assets in Hong Kong, Beijing, Tianjin and Singapore.

Amongst the top 20 property sales transacted in Q1 2019, three property sales made the list, ranking at seventh, eighth and ninth. These comprised of the 307,585 sqft site at 77 Robinson Road which sold for $717.74m (US$520.6m) to Gaw Capital, a 1.6 million sqft industrial site at 20 Tuas South Avenue 14 for $591.31m (US$428.9m) to Logos Property Services and Canadian pension fund CDPQ, and Manulife Centre for $567.05m (US$411.3m) which was sold to ARA Asset Management and UK property firm Chelsfield Group.

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