Bargain hunters looking at Chinese real estate

The decline in the Chinese real estate market is such that people are finding bargains in Shanghai, the country’s financial capital.

Last month, a private fund run by Singapore-listed ARA Asset Management purchased a 20-story office tower in Shanghai for 2.85 billion yuan, ($448 million), according to property consulting firm Savills , reported the Wall Street Journal.

ARA China Investment Partners, whose main investor is US pension fund California Public Employees’ Retirement System, purchased Platinum Building near Xintiandi, a popular entertainment and shopping area. Its tenants include McKinsey & Co. and Standard Chartered Bank, according to the WSJ.

“The softer market sentiments in China now are throwing up interesting investment opportunities, which would otherwise not be in the market or demand high asking prices,” Ng Beng Tiong, assistant group chief executive officer at ARA Asset Management told WSJ but he declined to comment on specifics of the deal, citing confidentiality obligations.

“China’s long-term economic and real estate fundamentals remain attractive for smart, long monies,” said Mr. Ng in an emailed statement.

In the third quarter, real estate investment deals in Shanghai between institutional investors jumped 59% from the previous quarter and from the same period a year earlier to 16 billion yuan, according to data from Savills. More than half of that came from Hong Kong-listed Link REIT’s $1.07 billion purchase of two premium office towers from Shanghai-based develope Shui  On Land in July.

Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, first-tier cities which have stronger local economies and more-resilient housing markets continue to attract investors.

China attracted $4 billion of foreign capital for commercial real estate in the first half of 2015, ranking it number 13, down from its 10th and 8th position in 2014 and 2013 respectively, according to data from CBRE Research and Real Capital Analytics. During first six months this year, the US, ranked No. 1, attracted $222.4 billion, property consultancy CBRE said in a recent report.



Categories: Asia Unhedged, China

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