With political machinations, China’s travails and economic sluggishness impacting markets around the region, 2015 was an overall slow year for Asian property sectors
The belief that nothing is permanent is firmly entrenched in many eastern philosophies. Even so, the recent slowdown in Asian economies and real estate markets has undoubtedly been a shock to the system following a boom unprecedented in length and proportion.
Since the turn of the millennium, rock-bottom interest rates, booming economies and the steady growth of consumer classes with spare money to invest in bricks and mortar combined to fuel something of a property miracle in the region. Indeed, it seemed that perpetual forward momentum in Asia’s property sector was as much of a fixture as the ancient teachings of Confucius.
After several years of double-digit percentage increases in property prices in many of the region’s markets, however, 2015 was a year that could most kindly be described as a holding pattern.
With the exception of a few (admittedly major) hiccups along the way – the dramatic bursting of Vietnam’s property bubble being one of these – major markets in the region have largely been on a steep upward curve. But in the last couple of years, reality has increasingly begun to bite.
“We’ve been on a pretty extended bull run in many parts of this region,” says Nicholas Holt, Asia Pacific head of research at Knight Frank. “It had to burn out to a certain degree, and it has.”
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