Global commercial real estate investment dropped during the first quarter, due to the business downturn related to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the Asia-Pacific region showing the largest decline, according to a report by global real estate company JLL.
Global real estate investment was $200 billion for the quarter, down 5% when compared to the same period in 2019, showing the “abrupt and widespread impact” the coronavirus crisis has had on financial markets. It is the first quarter of contraction in 11 years.
Sean Coghlan, head of global capital markets research at JLL, said in prepared remarks that as credit and equity markets felt the impact of the economic downturn during the quarter, REITs were the first in the real estate industry to feel the impact.
JLL reports that total returns during the first quarter fell 31% on average across eight of the world’s largest REIT markets.
The decline in direct real estate investment correlates to the spread of COVID-19, For example, investment in Asia Pacific, where the COVID-19 crisis hit first, was $34 billion during the first quarter, a 26% decline when compared with the prior year.