Cushman & Wakefield
ULI NEXT Japan Co-chair
Tim Gregersen specializes in cross-border transactions and supports institutional investors and high-net-worth investors from across the APAC region in acquiring and selling real estate in Japan, etc. Moreover, he supports Japanese companies and institutional investors in acquiring and selling overseas real estate. He currently serves as a member of ULI NEXT Japan. He was born in Toronto, Canada, and has lived in Japan for more than 10 years. He speaks fluent Japanese and is one of the few real estate brokers from North America working in Japan.
|1)Do you still see a strong appetite for investment in Japan among foreign investors?||There is still a strong appetite for Japan property amongst foreign investors regardless of region of origin. We are seeing strong interest from North American, European, and Asian domiciled capital. Due to travel restrictions, boots on the ground, either directly or via a trusted advisor, will make all the difference in whether the interest translates into successfully completed transactions.
|2) What segments are the strongest?||If the question is regarding which segments we think will be the most resilient – all signs point to multifamily and logistics. Multifamily in Japan, and in particular Tokyo, has traditionally been very stable with low rental delinquencies and is well positioned to continue to provide strong cash flows to investors. In much the same respect, Logistics, especially newer product is high in demand, from both and investor and tenant perspective.
If the question is where is the investor interest strongest – I would again have to say logistics and multifamily are garnering the bulk of the interest; however, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t have overseas investors asking me about distressed hotel opportunities.
|3)Do you see the rest of the year as quiet or strong?||Market activity markedly picked up from June and despite rising COVID-19 numbers in July, new product does continue to hit the market. I expect the pace to remain similar until year end and 2020 to close out with slightly lower transaction volumes than 2019|
|4)How important are health and wellness in the decisions of your investor clients presently?||It comes up in asset management decisions more-so than the actual investment decisions so I tend not to be privy to those discussions.
|5)What sort of evolution in the Japanese real estate market is needed to make it even more vibrant?||Usually for these questions my go to answer is for a comprehensive review of the archaic leasing laws for commercial leases at the very least. Tenant’s can too easily hold ownership hostage and disrupt the path to unlocking the value of property.
I am not sure if it would result in a more vibrant real estate market but there is an argument to be made for increasing meaningful discourse on the role the built environment plays in mental health. In general, Japan is lacking in grappling with mental health issues but as real estate professionals, we do not need to wait for the government to lead the charge. As COVID-19 unfolds, the health and wellbeing of tenants will be front and center for all new developments and while the physical component will be addressed with the utmost care and ability, we can’t forget to address the mental component as well.