In the depressed global real estate market, the amount of money invested in commercial and investment property fell sharply even in countries that received significant new foreign investment.
According to the "Global Investment Atlas 2010" report recently released by Cushman & Wakefield, investment in real estate fell 23% in 2009 to $365 billion, the lowest level since 2003. The numbers would have been much worse, however, if there's hadn't been a 104% jump in investment in the second half of the year from the first half. The best performers were in the emerging markets of Asia Pacific, where investments grew 111% from 2008 levels.
Which countries had the most real estate investment during the past year? Click ahead to find out!
By Paul ToscanoPosted 3 March 2010
2009: $5.05 billion
2008: $4.4 billion
One of three countries to see a year-over-year growth in real estate investments, Taiwan's 2009 investments totaled $5.05 billion, up from $4.4 billion in 2008. The report from Cushman & Wakefield suggest that Taiwan, like many Asia Pacific countries, benefited from high levels of government stimulus throughout the year.
2009: $6.9 billion
2008: $8.47 billion
Although Australia experienced a decline in real estate investments from 2008 to 2009, the level of decline was below the global average. It was also off the overall decline for the "Mature Asia Pacific" countries, which saw declines of 31% overall.
2009: $8.66 billion
2008: $7.4 billion
Another real estate market showing annual gains was Hong Kong, which is the fourth largest real estate investment market in Asia. The area experienced a 17% increase in investments from 2008, up to a level of $8.66 billion.
2009: $10.3 billion
2008: $11.7 billion
Investments in South Korea's real estate declined from its 2008 level of $11.7 to $10.3 billion in 2009, a drop of about 12%, which is a more modest decline than the global average.
2009: $10.3 billion
2008: $18.3 billion
Europe's second largest economy also experienced the continent's third largest volume of real estate investments in 2009, at a level of $10.3 billion. This is down significantly from the country's 2008 numbers, which stood at $18.3 billion, a drop of nearly 44%.
2009: $13.9 billion
2008: $28.8 billion
Germany's volume of real estate also took a hit in 2009, dropping 51.8% to $13.9 billion. However, the report highlights the country's attractiveness for investors "seeking safe, income producing assets" in 2010, as many investors are focusing on more "core, liquid markets" along with the United Kingdom and France.
2009: $18.99 billion
2008: $36.6 billion
The largest economy in Asia also sees the area's second highest levels of investment into real estate, despite a drop of nearly 49% from 2008 levels. As it stands, Japan saw 2009 real estate investments of $18.99 billion. Cushman & Wakefield's report, however, says that real estate investments in Japan are "looking increasingly compelling with a relatively high spread between yield and finance costs... with huge investment-grade opportunities, particularly in distressed assets selling at below replacement cost."
2009: $38.3 billion
2008: $106 billion
At the center of the global economic crisis was the US real estate market, and this damage is seen in the level of activity in the country's investment-grade commerical real estate. Falling a staggering 63.9% from 2008 levels. In the wake of this drop, the report is optimistic for 2010, forecasting growth of 50% by year end, stemming from attractive buying opportunities arising as a result of depressed prices. They add that "if the economy stays on track, it wouldn't be surprising to see our forecast beaten."
2009: $38.8 billion
2008: $41.38 billion
The United Kingdom edged out the United States for the second highest level of investments, as its volumes declined at a much slower rate of only 6.3%. In 2009, the UK experienced $38.8 billion in investments, compared to $41.38 in 2008.
2009: $156.19 billion
2008: $64.4 billion
Far and away bucking the trend in 2009 of lacking investments in real estate, China saw exceptional growth in volumes, shooting up over 242% from 2008 levels. Although many are suggesting that this rapid growth is a sure sign of a real estate bubble, the report expects says that "China will continue to see vibrant investment activity, despite recent government measures to cool down the property market."