The key theme for 2015 is going to be an increase in real-estate transactions in Asia, driven by greater supply that is finally starting to meet strong demand. There is pent-up underlying demand from both occupiers and investors, primarily due to the lack of stock, and that will gradually be satisfied by what we anticipate as a growing volume of new supply in 2015. One of the prime drivers is that there is a significant number of property funds that are due to expire in 2015, a significantly higher amount than that in 2014. This group of willing sellers will certainly increase supply. At the same time, there will be an increase in new developments in a number of Asian cities. Those properties will be all the more attractive given that they mesh with the continued enhancement of transportation connectivity between the city core and the fringe districts.
On the demand side, it is clear that there is increased capital that will be put to work in Asia. Many investors have reviewed their Asia strategies and plan to raise asset allocations to the region in 2015 as a result. The key reason is that there is more stock available for sale at a reasonable price.
Outbound investment demand will of course continue, particularly from mainland Chinese buyers. They are looking for overseas opportunities in order to diversify their investments and enhance their overall returns. But there are increasing challenges for investors looking overseas, not least the narrowing of the gap between yields in Asia and in oversea markets. Supply will also start to become a problem, particularly in terms of high-quality property. With new development, we are now seeing the impact of the global financial crisis, when construction virtually stopped in the United States, including key gateway cities. That will result in a severe narrowing of the supply pipeline as projects developed during that disruptive period come to market. Asia will, in contrast, have much higher supply, leading to far-increased volume in 2015.
Multinational corporations can make the most of the availability of new stock in Asia to upgrade office space or consolidate their operations under one roof. Demand from owner-occupiers, backed by strong cash flow and purchasing power, will be solid as they continue to consider acquisitions as a way of mitigating the risk of volatility in terms of rents.