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JLL: Vietnam, Indonesia are RE markets to watch

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. dubbed Vietnam a "rising star" in terms of real estate investment and pointed toward a potential boost for Indonesia’s logistics sector in its latest release.

Economies in the ASEAN region continue to prosper, growing by 5% per year, compared to a global annual growth rate of 3.5%, according to JLL data.

In Vietnam, the real estate sector is spurred in part by recent government reforms, including stronger financial requirements for property developers and the relaxation of rules on foreign investment, said Chris Fossick, JLL's managing director, Singapore and Southeast Asia. The country attracted a record $15.8 billion in disbursed foreign direct investment in 2016, of which the real estate sector saw $1.7 billion.

Specifically, JLL sees strong opportunities in Vietnam's office, residential and retail sectors. Occupancy of grade A office space in Ho Chi Minh City surpassed 95% in the fourth quarter of last year, while retail occupancy in the city's central business district was over 92%. The number of newly launched residential apartments was up 46% year over year in 2016.

As for Indonesia, JLL highlighted surging investor interest in the country's logistics sector, which it said stands to benefit from the Jokowi administration's efforts in improving infrastructure, easing bureaucracy and encouraging investment. Meanwhile, continued growth of e-commerce will push up demand for logistics space further, according to Fossick.

Elsewhere in the region, Singapore has seen a correction in capital values, strengthening its appeal as a core market, JLL noted. The city-state's GDP is expected to grow 2.3% in 2017, recovering from 1.8% in 2016.