Asia Pacific is the only region expecting growth in hotel transactions this year, with volume growing 15 percent from 2018 to about $9.5 billion, according to a recent forecast by global real estate consultancy JLL.
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The strong investment momentum will be particularly driven by investors looking to sell assets and ride the anticipated tourism boom, especially in Japan and Singapore, JLL said in a recently published report on hotel investment outlook.
Investor sentiment in Japan, in particular, will remain buoyed by the Rugby World Cup in September 2019 and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
"Despite a series of natural disasters, Japan's hotel market captured investor interest globally," said Nihat Ercan, head of hotel investment sales Asia for JLL's Hotel & Hospitality Group. "Nearly 30 percent of all investment into the Asia Pacific was in Japan, overtaking China for the top spot."
For this year, the most notable buyers will be Pan-Asian private equity funds that raised capital last year but have yet to deploy it. Listed REITs (real estate investment trust), particularly Japanese REITs, will look to Asia's most liquid markets for purchases, while conglomerates and owner-occupiers will buy selectively in key markets, according to JLL.