Senior property company executives optimistic about the real estate sector in Asia

Optimism within the Asian real estate sector

This year could see the first signs of recovery in property markets in Asia, according to the advisory board of one of the biggest real estate investment events in the region.

Asia has managed to avoid the toxic debts that have brought some western banks to their knees but it has not been immune to the global economic downturn, say the organisers of Cityscape Asia.

They predict that 2009 could be a good year to begin picking up potentially undervalued property assets ahead of regional economies emerging from the global financial crisis.

Indeed some economists believe that government stimulus packages and interest rate cuts will turn the tide with signs of recovery possibly emerging as early as the fourth quarter of 2009,' said Graham Wood, Group Exhibition Director, Cityscape.

The event's advisory board which includes senior executives from MGM Mirage International, Asia Private Equity, Mercury Partners, Peak Asia Management and Grosvenor, issued a joint statement.

'The past few months have been challenging for all of us working in the real estate industry. But out of the doom and gloom we are trying to anticipate where the next opportunities will come from and how we can capitalize on them,' it said.

'Established firms, family enterprises and individuals with cash reserves, limited debt and an appetite for risk are expected to be among the first to begin searching the Asian market for bargains in the coming months,' added Wood.

'Competition for prime real estate is easing and for investors with money this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Predictions of a rebound in Asian property markets are based on continuing regional urbanization which has, for example, seen an average eight million Chinese people move to cities annually over the last decade,' he said.

The three day Cityscape Asia events begins on May 19 at Singapore's Suntec and will focus on all aspects of the real estate development cycle. Top deal makers from leading developers, banks, institutional investors and investment authorities, as well as senior officers from the foremost private equity funds and investment advisory firms are expected to attend.

Some of the conference highlights include: surviving the global financial crisis; the future for real estate funds; Asian REITS; markets to invest in for long-term growth and returns; country spotlights in trouble times; the Asian retail decade; and green investments.