By Ramesh Nair
The first quarter in 2018 saw strong office leasing trends in Asia Pacific (APAC) as last year’s promising performance that carried into 2018. Overall leasing was up by 12% y-o-y with the office sector making up half of all transaction volumes.
India returned to a growth leadership position within Asia Pacific region, after a period of slack, aided by increased consumption and supportive domestic policy. Delhi registered highest regional leasing volumes, followed by Bengaluru, Hong Kong, and Beijing which also recorded high volumes.
APAC Q1 Net Absorption was up by a strong 46% y-o-y on upbeat business sentiment. Healthy occupational demand was seen, with Mumbai recording strongest space take-up in Asia Pacific along with Shanghai and Beijing.
In Mumbai, absorption was up by 39% y-o-y with demand for office spaces driven by financials and professional services. Delhi also witnessed a strong leasing momentum with net absorption up by 22.6% y-o-y.
Total supply across Asia Pacific went up by 15% y-o-y with Mumbai recording one of the largest volumes in supply additions. Investment activity also reached a new record at USD 40 Billion, which was up 34% y-o-y. India delivered a healthy –level of deal flow and supported the overall regional volume.
Traditionally a slower growth period, Q1 2018 did see the strong office leasing trend with the top cities of India recording close to 7 million square feet of leasing. This, when compared to the corresponding period in 2017, was higher by over 60%. Delhi saw a year – on – year (y-o-y) rise of 84%.
For the rest of the year, a strong uptick in demand is likely in India, backed by ongoing space enquiries and pre-commitments from technology occupiers. We are expecting a generally modest growth in rents and capital values driven by quality upcoming and existing buildings.
With India’s GDP forecast pegged at 7.3 % for 2018, inflationary pressure is expected to remain elevated, but solid fundamentals will help shield the economy from possible short-term effects, keeping growth at a healthy pace
Indian office transaction is experiencing a growth in overall leasing activities. While net absorption has remained stable for the last few years, we expect it to be at approximate 32 million square feet (MSF) by end of 2018 and be close to 35 MSF in the subsequent two years till the end of 2020.
(The Writer is CEO and Country Head of JLL India)