SYDNEY, July 24 Australia was the most popular
property investment destination for non-Asian investors, and the
third most active investment Asia Pacific market over the past
year as investors sought secure, quality assets in a mature
market, CBRE said on Tuesday.
In the year to June, Australia had property investment
turnover of $10.8 billion, third after Japan, the largest
investment market in the region with $13.6 billion in turnover
and China which saw $11.8 billion of investment turnover.
While transactions in Japan were largely dominated by
domestic players and those in China were mainly driven by Hong
Kong-based investors, Australia saw a chunk of foreign capital
coming in, said Nick Axford, CBRE's head of Asia Pacific
"A third of all of the money that has come into Asia Pacific
over the last 12 months from outside the region has been focused
here in Australia," Axford told the company's market outlook
Last year, foreign investors bought about 30 percent of all
the commercial properties sold, beefing up their presence here.
Investment yields on prime office buildings in Sydney stood
at more than 6 percent compared with around 5 percent in London
and New York, according to CBRE.
"Investors are looking for some kind of security. They want
good quality products in good liquid markets," Axford said.
"We will continue to see investors looking very closely at
Australia," he added.
Robert Sewell, CBRE's regional director for institutional
investment, said as prime office buildings in Sydney were
getting scarce and competition from domestic players was heating
up, foreign investors may have to look at secondary office
"Last year, we saw REITs selling assets to fund share
buybacks. They stopped doing this and now they now acquire
stock," he told the meeting. "The focus will be very much in the
Many Australia real estate investment trusts (REITs)
divested assets to strengthen their balance sheets and finance
share buybacks. Stockland sold A$795 million of assets
during the first half of fiscal year to June 2012, mostly office
(Reporting by Eriko Amaha; Editing by Eric Meijer)