View of Kuala Lumpur. Photo: AFP
View of Kuala Lumpur. Photo: AFP

Asia-Pacific CEO at JLL, Anthony Couse, writes at Nikkei Asian Review on why Asian property investors are looking closer to home.

Couse explains that as political uncertainty in Europe and questions surrounding US policy toward China persist, improving real estate returns in Asia are attracting the region’s investors back home.

China in the driver’s seat

  • The US rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is a boost to China’s influence in the region as they push the Regional Economic Partnership.
  • China doubled foreign direct investment in six Southeast Asian nations last year.


  • China is now the top property investor in Malaysia, after dumping US$2.1 billion over the past three years.
  • Alibaba recently announced plans to set up a logistics hub in the company’s first Digital Free Trade Zone outside of mainland China, which is located near Kuala Lumpur International airport.

South Korea and Japan

  • South Korea’s domestic investment of US$12.4 billion last year was up 75% from the year before.
  • Korean chaebol reform on the horizon has spurred conglomerates to divest non-core assets.
  • Japan’s low bond yields and lackluster stock performance have pushed investors into the real estate market, and individual investors are turning to real estate investment trusts.