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Property market sees an increase in foreign investment

By Hu Yuanyuan | | Updated: 2013-02-26 20:26

China may see a small increase in property transactions involving international investors in 2013, fueled by the economic recovery, experts from LaSalle Investment Management said on Tuesday.

According to the real estate fund, the best opportunities in China mainland's real estate this year include warehouses, offices, hotels, retail and mixed-use developments.

Stabilized modern warehouses offer compelling entry prices and secure income in many countries, with China at the top end of expected returns. In addition, the development of modern logistics facilities in select regions is very attractive. These projects will benefit from infrastructure investment and a steady efficiency drive within the nation's logistics network. Attractive investors should be cautioned that a short construction cycle and the non-transparent market make it hard to underwrite medium-term supply risk.

As the grade A and grade B office rental gap widens, grade B offices at core locations in first tier cities offer upgrading potential through asset and tenancy improvements.

Hotels are considered good investments because the best opportunities are in assets that provide stable, core-like returns but are not traditionally perceived as core. In hotels, repositioning mismanaged domestic brand hotels in China should yield fairly good returns.

Retail remains compelling, although location is vital and deal flow limited. Prime retail in select first and second tier cities in China are among areas to watch.

Mixed-use developments in China that use the concept of elderly care and/or international schools to access demand from the growing middle class and to differentiate from competition are attractive. Potentially, land could be acquired from the government at a lower cost.

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