Fuelled by the growing number of overseas investors in key Asian markets, many international firms and brands are placing their bets on the region.
United States-based property agency Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty (RSIR) this week announced the opening of its new ‘Asia Desk’ that will cater to buyers coming from China, South Korea and South East Asia.
In order to attract a large number of clients in East Asia, RSIR also will offer bilingual realtors who can speak Mandarin, Cantonese or Korean.
“International is our middle name and so we’re playing a pivotal role in building out networks between the Pacific Northwest region and Asia. This is just the beginning,” said Dean Jones, president and CEO at RSIR, at a recent press conference.
The Asia Desk operations will be closely linked with Beijing Sotheby’s International Realty unit.
Meanwhile, multibillionaire Warren Buffet revealed that his firm would start licensing the renowned Berkshire Hathaway brand to estate agencies in Asia. The licensing grants will also be available to companies based in Europe.
According to a report by BrandChannel.com, Buffet’s Berkshire division, which includes real estate operations, registered a 26 percent increase in revenues amounting to USD1.2 billion in the first half of 2014 alone.
Elsewhere, M&G Real Estate, an investment specialist firm headquartered in the United Kingdom, announced that it had purchased 12 residential properties and one commercial building in Japan. The purpose of the acquisitions was to diversify the group’s Asian property portfolio.
In a report by Europe-based publication Property Magazine, the Japanese market, which was recently named the third-biggest commercial real estate market in the world by Cushman & Wakefield, now comprises 17 percent of M&G’s core strategy in Asia. The firm is also bullish on the Australian market.
“These acquisitions add distinct value to our Asia Pacific portfolio as we continue to diversify risk and build upon the attractive investment performance this strategy has achieved,” said Erie Spratt, the company’s fund manager.
In Hong Kong, London-based independent private equity and real estate firm Augentius’s local operations will be expanded from 20 to 30 employees, as the company caters to the growing demand from clients coming from Hong Kong and Mainland China.
“Asia is a fast growing region for Augentius. Our growth in the region has been rapid and as a consequence we need to expand our operations to support our clients,” Ian Kelly, CEO at Augentius, told AsiaAsset.com.
“As the private equity and real estate sectors in the region have become more attractive to international investors, so firms are seeking to move from generalist administrators across to specialist such as Augentius, with the detailed knowledge of the requirements of international investors,” he said.
The firm also plans to expand its Singapore office to reach a wider clientele.
Hong Kong by Roy Niekerk was used under a Creative Commons licence.
Foreign firms bullish on Asian real estate expansion plans