Aug 21, 2014

    S'pore No. 2 in region for hospitality investments

    THE Asia-Pacific hospitality investment market hit a five-year high last year, with a transaction volume of US$12.8 billion (S$16 billion), as Singapore emerged as the second-largest market after China.

    The total transaction volume for last year was up more than 30 per cent year on year, according to Cushman & Wakefield's report on hotel markets in 17 cities in Asia and Australia.

    China accounted for US$2.636 billion or 20.5 per cent of the total investment volume, while Singapore was the second-largest market at US$2.634 billion. Japan was third at US$2.61 billion and Australia fourth at US$2.27 billion.

    Hotel investments were also more spread out across the region last year, with some properties being sold in emerging and non-core markets such as Cambodia, Macau and Maldives.

    Akshay Kulkarni, regional director of Cushman & Wakefield's Hospitality Services unit (South Asia and South-east Asia), said: "Hospitality investment volume last year has more than doubled since 2008 and can be attributed to the excess liquidity, the low borrowing costs and the region's favourable tourism growth and outlook."

    Properties which changed hands in Singapore last year included the 305-room Westin Marina Bay to Daisho Group at US$369 million in December.

    This year, Cushman & Wakefield expects the region's hospitality investment market to moderate, coming in at US$9 billion to US$10.5 billion. In the first half of this year, total investment volume in hospitality assets registered US$5.2 billion, up 9.5 per cent year on year, with core markets Japan, Singapore, China and Australia accounting for nearly 70 per cent of investment volume.

    Mr Kulkarni added: "Lower hotel transaction volume is expected for Singapore this year compared to last year, at least on the organised institutional side." THE BUSINESS TIMES