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Tokyo looks the best property investment bet in Asia for 2009

The Japanese capital city has overtaken Shanghai in the survey by the Urban Land Institute and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

It is regarded as having the best prospects for 2009 and the lowest risk of the 20 locations covered in the survey of global investors, property developers and brokers.

Singapore is in second place and Hong Kong is third, according to the ULI, a Washington-based research firm, and New York-based accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Property values are tumbling around the globe but in Asia the markets with the strongest economies and highest levels of liquidity will be most attractive to investors in the coming 12 months.

Property investors will still be interested in price but they are also expected to put quality as an equally important pointer for decision making, according to Stephen Blank, a principal researcher at the ULI.

'Tokyo is a weaker market than last year, but clearly stronger than other global financial centres,' the report says.

'Financing will be the single biggest issue facing the industry in 2009,' Blank said.

Ho Chi Minh City was ranked the best market for office properties, followed by Tokyo, Mumbai, Shanghai and Bangalore. Vietnam's former capital city was also rated on top for retail and apartment residential property, the study showed.