Update: Asia/Pacific and International Real Estate

Asia-Pacific real estate trends differ substantially by segment and nation, but here are several news items worth noting.


Throughout the region, the coronavirus pandemic has stimulated housing demand in similar ways witnessed around the world.

According to real estate consultants Knight Frank, prices rose 6.4% year-on-year across the region as of the end of June, the highest increase in four years. But in some cities, heavy buyer demand drove prices substantially higher, including:

  • Wellington - 29.2%
  • Auckland - 25.0%
  • Beijing - 14.8%
  • Singapore (outside central region) - 13.9%
  • Osaka - 13.5%
  • Tokyo - 12.6%
  • Seoul - 12.5%

For comparison, NAR Research found that US existing home sales prices rose 23.2% from June 2020 to June 2021. However, by August 2021, this year-over-year figure had declined to 14.9%.1

Other recent developments

China's influence always dominates the region and can't be ignored. Property developers actively vie for Chinese investors, and seven special economic zones in China's coastal areas provide primary entrance routes for inbound foreign investment.

Most recently, property developer China Evergrande Group has come under scrutiny  after the Chinese government cracked down on real estate market speculation. Evergrande has amassed $300 billion in debt, roughly equal to 2% of China's GDP, making it the world's most indebted developer. Over 1.5 million buyers are waiting for finished apartments.

The Philippines ranks among the world's top contenders in the call center industry and has capitalized on Covid-19 to accelerate its growth. For example, the video conferencing platform Zoom launched in Manila late in 2020 and has since tripled its headcount.

Call center operators have gotten creative in attracting workers from rural areas while also contending with Covid restrictions. For example, some operators have purchased small "bed and breakfast" style properties previously used to host travelers and converted them into dormitory-style housing and workspaces for call center employees.

Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam—three Southeast Asian nations heavily reliant on tourism—recently announced plans to part with their "zero-Covid" policies and relax restrictions after months of lockdowns, despite low vaccination rates.

It's a move based on economic necessity and running out of options. After nearly two years of struggling with broad job losses, government officials are facing public pressure that it's time to start "living with Covid."

Global Perspectives thanks Furhad Waquad, ABR®, AHWD, BPOR, CIPS, CRS, e-PRO®, GREEN, GRI, MRP, PSA, SFR®, based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for his assistance in developing this content.

3 Summary of August 2021 Existing Home Sales Statistics, National Association of REALTORS®

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