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Asia Property Report Monthly

Monthly, Bangkok
An in-depth special focus on Asian real estate hot spots, as well as key interviews with important industry figures and analysis

Asia Report

Aug 01, 2008
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China - Shenzhen plunge forecast
Sales of residential houses in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen are forecast to plunge this year to the level they were at 10 years ago as homebuyers and investors continue to adopt a wait-and-see attitude as prices nosedive.

"Prices are expected to drop another 10 per cent as some struggling small and medium-sized real estate developers and speculators are selling properties at a loss to maintain cash flow," said Song Ding, a senior real estate analyst with China Development Institute.

The tightening monetary policy has put a sudden brake on the overheating housing market, especially in Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing, where prices had mainly been driven by speculation. Economic uncertainties as a result of the global slowdown and the tight monetary policy at home have also dampened the real estate market.

Japan - Office vacancies rise in Tokyo
The office vacancy rate in central Tokyo came to 3.49 percent on June 30, up 0.2 percent from the end of May, according to figures released in July by real estate broker Miki Shoji Co.

The vacancy rate in the five central wards of Chiyoda, Chuo, Minato, Shinjuku and Shibuya climbed for the fifth month in a row. The average asking rent per tsubo, or 3.3 sq. meters, rose 0.18 percent to 22, 868 yen. Tenants quickly signed up for offices with lower rents, while negotiations for buildings with high rents dragged on.

UAE - Gateway City for RAK
Rakeen and Yes Property Investment has launched the ´Gateway City´, a new project in Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) located on Emirates Road between exits 119 and 122, behind the new World Trade Center in RAK. Rakeen is in the process developing the project which includes leveling and planning of infrastructures. Yes Property Investment will carry out the marketing of the first phase of the project.

The 1,700sqkm Ras Al Khaimah emirate is a 45 minute drive from Dubai, and is notably more affordable than its more illustrious neighbor. “There seems to be nothing standing in the way of RAK’s ambitions to become the next big development story in the Gulf”, said Bebhinn Kelly of Oxford Business Group.

Vietnam - HCM City licences US$120 million residential complex
Ho Chi Minh City on July 11 granted a licence for a $US120 million residential complex to be called Horizon Place. Horizon Place will be built on 8,400 sq.m in the southern commercial hub´s precinct 4.

It will include two apartment buildings, an office building and a trade centre.  Construction is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of this year and be completed in 2012.The complex is to be built by Aseana BDC Company, a joint venture between Aseana Properties of Malaysia and the Binh Duong Joint Stock Company.

In the first half of this year, HCM City attracted more than $US7 billion worth of foreign direct investment, a record in the past 20 years and equal to the total FDI attracted in the past three years.

Australia - Hurdles for Aus construction industry
Higher interest rates, tighter funding costs and lower confidence levels have continued to
hamper the construction industry, a survey says.

The Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association performance of construction index (PCI) rose 3.4 index points in June, to 40.3 points. However, the index stayed well below the key 50-point level, which separates expansion from contraction, for the fourth straight month.

Ai Group associate director economics and research Tony Pensabene said tighter liquidity, higher interest rates, and reduced confidence from consumers and investors were hitting construction activity.

"We are continuing to see weakness on a broad industry front, with falling demand, weaker economic conditions, and increased competition for work, cited as key factors by firms for the continued fall-off in activity," Mr Pensabene said in a statement.

UAE - Karl Lagerfeld to design Dubai homes
Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld has signed a deal with Dubai Infinity Holdings to design 80 homes on Isla Moda, the world´s first dedicated fashion island, set in The World development off the coast of Dubai. The collaboration between DIH and Lagerfeld will extend to other projects across the GCC and India, according to a statement by the developer.