Hotel investments in Asia Pacific to rise 15 per cent in 2019, says JLL

Region’s transaction volumes spurred by trades in Japan and Singapore.

March 11, 2019

Asia Pacific is the only region expecting growth in hotel transaction volumes this year, according to JLL’s latest Hotel Investment Outlook report. The global real estate consultant anticipates total transaction volumes for Asia Pacific to reach $9.5 billion in 2019, a 15 per cent lift compared to 2018.

Last year, transaction activity was fuelled by single-asset trades, which drove more than 83 per cent of the total US$8.3 billion invested into the region. Developers and private equity firms were the biggest buyers, acquiring more than half of all the properties traded.

“2018 was a year of recovery in Indonesia’s major hotel markets with major city-centres of Jakarta and Surabaya on the tail end of a development cycle and Bali showing a rapid and substantial recovery following the effects of Mount Agung in late 2017. As a result, transaction volume in Indonesia was muted relative to past years.” said Corey Hamabata, Senior Vice President, JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group. “However, in the year, we noted growing activity from offshore and fund-type investors in anticipation of these markets’ recoveries. As such, we expect transaction activity to increase in the years ahead.”

Building on 2018, investment momentum is expected to accelerate as investors look to sell assets and ride the anticipated tourism boom, especially in Japan and Singapore. The most notable buyers will be Pan-Asian private equity funds that raised capital last year but have yet to deploy it. Listed REITs, particularly Japanese REITs, will look to Asia’s most liquid markets for purchases, while conglomerates and owner/occupiers will buy selectively in key markets.

“Despite a series of natural disasters, Japan’s hotel market captured investor interest globally. Nearly 30 per cent of all investment into Asia Pacific was in Japan, overtaking China for the top spot,” said Nihat Ercan, Head of Hotel Investment Sales Asia for JLL’s Hotel & Hospitality Group.

According to the report, investor sentiment in Japan will remain buoyed by the Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo Olympics – the market has already seen an 8.7 per cent growth in tourism year-on-year. Similarly, Singapore’s hotel market pulled in seven per cent more tourists last year, driving positive RevPAR increases across all chain scales. In China, tourism demand outstrips supply -- JLL tracked record high growth in RevPAR across major Chinese cities in 2018, including Chengdu up 20 per cent, Beijing up 15 per cent, Chongqing up 13 per cent and Wuhan up 12 per cent.     

“While we remain in a late-cycle environment where yields remain low with limited potential for further compression, most investors do not see a major downturn coming. After a subdued final quarter in 2018, enquiries and deal making have perked up at the beginning of the year. Interest rates are now stabilised, so investors can focus on income growth and in markets where fundamentals remain strong,” concluded Ercan.

JLL expects investors looking at Asia Pacific will factor into their valuation assumptions less upside in income; however, liquidity across key cities and lower return requirements will drive transaction volumes. On the global front, hotel occupancy rates and underlying property performance will remain strong while travel and tourism are slated for another record year. Investors seeking more yield are increasingly turning their sights toward hotels amid slower economic growth projections and geopolitical uncertainty.”

JLL’s Hotels & Hospitality Group has completed more transactions than any other hotels and hospitality real estate advisor over the last five years, totalling more than $63.2 billion worldwide. The group’s 350-strong global team in over 20 countries also closed more than 5,420 advisory, valuation and asset management assignments. Its hotel valuation, brokerage, asset management and consultancy services have helped more hotel investors, owners and operators achieve high returns on their assets than any other real estate advisor in the world.

For more information, please download the Hotel Investment Outlook 2019 report here.

About JLL

JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. Our vision is to reimagine the world of real estate, creating rewarding opportunities and amazing spaces where people can achieve their ambitions. In doing so, we will build a better tomorrow for our clients, our people and our communities. JLL is a Fortune 500 company with annual revenue of $16.3 billion, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of over 90,000 as of December 31, 2018. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit