The volume of capital ploughed into the world's retail markets is expected to reach between USD 160 and 180 billion (GBP 98.8 and 111.1 billion) by 2020. This will represent a 30 to 50 per cent increase over the figures recorded in 2011, when global retail real estate investment stood at USD 122.5 billion, Jones Lang LaSalle revealed. The predictions have been made as part of the firm's Redefining Retail Investment report, which has been launched to coincide with the International Council of Shopping Centers' (ICSC) 2012 Retail Real Estate World Summit. The event opened on September 11th and concludes September 14th.
Head of the international capital group at Jones Lang LaSalle Arthur de Haast explained why the retail industry is expected to grow at such a substantial rate. "The number of investable geographies has expanded globally as growth markets like China, Brazil and Turkey are attracting global investors. Together with an improvement in the quality and availability of retail assets, rising liquidity levels and further progress in real estate transparency, the retail investment sales sector is set for further rapid globalisation," he asserted.
ICSC vice-president of research and chief economist Michael Niemira added that many of these emerging retail property investment markets are being supported and driven forward by the introduction of real estate investment trusts, which make it much easier for investors to enter unfamiliar markets while also providing transparency. The Asia-Pacific is set for the biggest uptick in investment volumes, with this region expected to take a 26 per cent share of the global market by 2020, up from the 22 per cent it currently holds. Europe, the Middle East and Africa will account for the highest proportion of activity (41 per cent), while the Americas are likely to have 33 per cent of the market.
These predictions are supported by the data included in the Global Perspective on the Shopping Centre Industry study published by Cushman & Wakefield and the ICSC at the conference. According to the research, it has been the Asian and Latin American economies that have boosted activity in the retail sector, with the report stating there is "high demand for the limited amount of prime retail opportunities in both regions".