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News: Investors unfazed by 'rip-off Japan'

Wed, 28 Nov 07

Overseas property investors are continuing to invest in the Japanese real estate market regardless of recent price increases within certain areas of Japan...

Q1 of 2007, half of all Japanese real estate sales, amounting to $15 billion, involved a minimum of one foreign investor, equating to three times the amount of international investments in 2006 and three times the amount received by China in Q1 2007.

Property reports compiled by Jones Lang LaSalle highlighted that the overall property value had risen by 16% in the first half of 2007, with total sales generating $30 billion, equal to 55% of all property transactions in the Asia-Pacific region.

Japanese ski resorts in particular have received significant international interest. During the summer, the ski and golf resort of Hokkaido changed hands from Japanese to foreign ownership, and Hanazono Resort is now owned by Hong Kong business tycoon, Richard Li.

Positive yield spread

Koichiro Obu, real estate researcher at Deutsche Securities in Tokyo comments, “There are still a lot of foreign investors rushing into the Japanese real estate market and this trend is unlikely to stop in the foreseeable future because Japan is one of the very few markets in the world which has a positive yield spread.”

Goldman Sachs has already invested $13.67 billion in Japan and recently spent $1.4 billion on Simplex, a property developer. Previously, Goldman Sachs purchased the Tiffany building for a record $340 million. Morgan Stanley has acquired 13 hotels of $2.55 billion investing a total of $18.15 billion in Japan.

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