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Jones Lang LaSalle Finds Global Investment Capital Leans Towards Real Estate

Investment portfolios shift toward real estate

Across eleven major global markets, spreads between real bond rates and prime-grade office market yields are on average 195 basis points wider now than in the fourth quarter of 2007, JLL found. Those  higher returns are convincing many investors to increase exposure to real estate.

"With sovereign bond market yields at multi-decade, and in some cases multi-century, lows, and with the outlook for capital growth subdued, yield becomes a core driver of investment returns," said Dyer. "The spread between real estate and sovereign debt yields remains high, offering generous compensation to investors for the additional risk associated with real estate."

To a lesser extent, increased allocations to real estate also reflect investor efforts to reduce risk by diversifying away from the traditional portfolio mainstays of bonds and equities, JLL's report concludes.

Asia Pacific real estate takes the lead

The Asia Pacific region is emerging as the long-term winner in the global contest for investment capital, boosted by the rise of domestic pension funds and private wealth. Since 2008, strong economic growth that contrasted with recessionary contraction in Europe and North America has fuelled real estate activity.

Operational challenges, low levels of liquidity and in some cases undeveloped capital markets currently constrain institutional investment in the region, which partly explains why most western institutions are underweighted in the Asia Pacific region relative to the size of its real estate markets. Over the long term, however, JLL expects relative portfolio weightings to move in favour of the region as high rates of saving, rapid urbanisation, the inexorable rise of the middle classes and evidence of improving transparency increase investor confidence and interest in the region.

More trends explored

JLL's report identifies several other trends emerging around the globe, including efforts to increase transparency, the rapidly expanding practice of sale-leasebacks in  Asia, and the increasing pace of renovations or replacement of aging real estate to better meet the needs of modern commercial tenants.

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