Prices of office, retail and industrial properties in Amsterdam, Chicago, Tokyo and Washington DC have yet to fully recover from the post-financial crisis slump, according to Real Capital Analytics (RCA).
New market indices launched by RCA show that the four cities lag far behind price gains seen in other major urban centres, where competition for properties and low interest rates have driven up pricing to record levels.
Prices in Hong Kong, for example, have tripled since the peak of 2007, while in Manhattan and London’s West End they have nearly doubled.
Robert White, RCA’s president and founder, said: “Gateway cities are clear winners in the ultra-low interest-rate environment that has prevailed since the GFC, outperforming their national markets as investors have favored core, city-centre properties in the most globally connected markets.
“A wealth of information is conveyed by our suite of new indices, which for the first time provide accurate comparisons of the true pricing trends for the leading global commercial property markets”.
RCA said local economic challenges and oversupply generally explained why the four cities had not followed the wider trend.
However, the RCA Commercial Property Price Indices (CPPIs) have begun to show that cities such as Amsterdam and Chicago are gaining momentum as price appreciation in the most heated markets calms.
Manhattan and London’s West End district have underperformed in relative terms recently, reflecting investors’ concerns about deploying capital in these markets at such a late stage in the investment cycle, RCA said. In London, the situation has been compounded by the uncertainty following the UK’s decision last year to leave the European Union.
The Global Cities Composite – which covers 27 of the most important investment markets – of RCA CPPI rose 8.3% in the second quarter of 2017 from a year earlier, led by strong gains in Boston, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Germany’s biggest cities.
In London’s West End, the price gains were 0.2% from a year earlier. RCA’s transaction volume data show that investment in Manhattan fell 50% to $17.6bn (€14.8bn) in the second quarter of 2017 from a year earlier, while in the West End of London the fall in transaction volumes was 17% to $7.8bn.
RCA said its global cities indices are the first property price indices to cover all major investment markets around the globe based on actual transactions rather than appraisal valuations.
It is the culmination of several years of intensive research and development involving a team from RCA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Center for Real Estate, and the University of Amsterdam.
White said: “These indices are a major advancement for the commercial real estate asset class and set a new standard of accuracy and transparency in the performance of the world’s most liquid markets.”