Sotheby's realty arm on path to expansion

Consultancy List Sotheby's International Realty is expanding its foothold in the Asia-Pacific region, with new offices opening in three South-east Asian countries and the expansion of its Singapore office, which will serve as its South-east Asia regional headquarters.

List Sotheby's International Realty has 15 offices in the Asia-Pacific region. These comprise 10 offices in Japan's major cities such as Tokyo and Yokohama, two offices in Hawaii and one office each in the Philippines (opened in 2016), Singapore (2017) and Hong Kong (2017).

A new office in Thailand's Bangkok will be opening next month. Agreements have also been inked to expand into Indonesia and Vietnam. Operations in both countries are projected to open next year.

With the addition of these two countries, Indonesia and Vietnam, List Sotheby's International Realty is set to become one of the largest regional real estate brokerages in Asia with presence in major cities.

Mr Hisashi Kitami, president and CEO of Japan's List Group and List Sotheby's International Realty, said: "Because of geographical and economical closeness, the addition of Indonesia and Vietnam to our current portfolio of locations will facilitate more cross-border transactions, which will be beneficial for all stakeholders including our clients, employees, and agents."

In the coming years, Mr Kitami plans to connect major cities in Asia through the List Sotheby's International Realty brand. He aims for the firm to stand out as an all-in-one real estate company in the region to capitalise on the increasing property needs from both within and outside of the Asia-Pacific region.

Commenting on the Asian market outlook, Mr Kitami said that the real estate needs in Asia are not only increasing but also becoming more diversified, and he expects the trend to continue. He cited examples of international high net worth individuals seeking investment opportunities in Asia; high net worth individuals from Asia seeking investments outside; and residential demands and needs from the emerging middle/upper income class in Asia.

After about a year of operations, the Singapore office will also expand its team of real estate agents.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2018, with the headline 'Sotheby's realty arm on path to expansion'. Print Edition | Subscribe