Southeast Asian emerging markets riskier for real estate investment: consultancy

SINGAPORE - Real estate risks are rising in emerging and frontier markets and those in Southeast Asia are generally riskier, according to a report from property consultancy Cushman & Wakefield on Thursday.

Its list of the top 10 most efficient and transparent emerging and frontier real estate markets was dominated by Africa and the Middle East.

Botswana, a landlocked country in southern Africa, was in first place.

Its report assessed the information transparency, political stability, corruption and the health and safety of workers in 42 emerging markets worldwide. It excluded the 'BRIC' countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

The Asia Pacific region produced only one country that made it to the top 10 list, which was Indonesia in fifth place.

"Existing political systems in many countries are under pressure and states with poor governance and cultural tensions are susceptible to terrorism and other crimes such as kidnapping," Cushman said.

"Cyber security is also an increasingly critical issue as companies become more global. In addition, properties associated with more controversial industries such as oil and gas exploration are at higher risk."

However, it said that "while countries with increasing geopolitical risks have fallen out of favor with most occupiers temporarily, there are still significant growth opportunities across many emerging and frontier markets".