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Australian cities shine in global real estate


Australia was the brightest spot for big-city property investment among Asia Pacific cities during 2021 and Melbourne showed the most improvement in the world.

According to the annual study by Heitman, Chicago-based global real estate manager, of the world’s cities for their attractiveness as real estate markets, Melbourne jumped four places to 14th spot in the world rankings. This was the biggest jump of any city in the top 30 and the second consecutive year for the city’s accolade.

But Sydney, too, fared well this year, maintaining its ninth position in the rankings while Hong Kong and Singapore slipped down the list slightly.

The study, by the Real Estate Securities Group at Heitman, showed this year’s metro rankings were topped by London, New York, Paris, and Tokyo, with the top four cities retaining their spots from the 2020 ranking

John White, Heitman senior managing director of Listed Real Estate Securities, said: “Although the composition of this year’s rankings remains relatively unchanged, with Dublin marking the only new entrant [at number 30], we did see some interesting movement in each city’s relative scores.

‘Overall, North American and European cities rose in tandem, generally outperforming those in Asia-Pacific on both ranking and cumulative scores.

“Cities have shown a remarkable ability to bounce back from crises – including from plagues and pandemics – and it appears that we are seeing something similar with the covid-19 pandemic.”

Heitman is optimistic about the future of cities for real estate investment, notwithstanding the changes which are continuing to occur due to the pandemic, for instance the apparent permanence in new work patterns.

White said: “Cities have been, and will continue to be, hubs of innovation and creativity, and for those reasons, among others, will remain attractive for people to work and live. “While the nature of work has and will continue to change as a result of the pandemic, prime cities, particularly those with government funds for infrastructure, business incentives, and housing, will adapt and we expect these cities to remain magnets for people and businesses.”

The report says about Asia Pacific that Australian cities Sydney and Melbourne continued to perform well, with relative economic momentum stronger than other markets.

“But Hong Kong and Taipei suffered as tensions with mainland China continued to weigh on business and investor outlook. Singapore fell from fifth to sixth in the rankings year-over-year. Difficulties in global trade and high levels of housing unaffordability drove this continuing trend,” the report says.

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