Economic uncertainty continued to weigh on office leasing demand in Q4 2019. Asia Pacific net absorption stood at 11.2 million sq. ft., bringing the annual total to 51.0 million sq. ft., a decline of 18.0% y-o-y. Regional rents declined for a second consecutive quarter, offsetting the growth witnessed in H1 2019.
Retail sales growth remained sluggish despite the onset of the festive season. A continued focus on reviewing store network strategy resulted in further closures and market withdrawals. Asia Pacific rents declined by 1.5% q-o-q and 3.6% y-o-y.
Industrial sentiment saw a mild improvement following the U.S.-China Phase-One trade agreement and a modest rebound in manufacturing activity. However, this failed to translate into leasing demand. Asia Pacific logistics rental growth stood at 0.7% q-o-q.
Slower global economic growth, ongoing trade conflict and sociopolitical unrest negatively impacted regional investment activity in Q4 2019. Transaction volume fell to US$33 billion. The coronavirus outbreak is set to hurt investment sentiment in Q1 2020, with Greater China expected to record a slow start to the year.