Between lockdowns and travel restrictions, the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the precipitous fall of global commercial real estate investments in the first half of 2020. The final tally was US$321 billion in the first six months of the year, a 29 percent drop. But there were outliers: Deal volume in Japan increased seven percent to US$24 billion, and Germany saw only a 1 percent decrease. Additionally, South Korea outperformed its long-term, first-half average in spite of a 15 percent decline. How did they do it?

According to a new report from JLL, these countries were able to make the most of real estate transparency, government stimulus, and domestic capital.

A lack of real estate transparency can undermine investor confidence, says Sean Coghlan, head of global capital markets research for JLL. That confidence is particularly vulnerable during a time of travel limitations when conducting due diligence is hampered. "In the current environment, transparency has become a mitigating factor for investment decisions. Strong governance is mitigating uncertainty in some cities and supporting investment activity," Coughlan said.

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Richard Binder

Richard Binder, based in New York, is part of the social media team at ALM. He is also a 2014 recipient of the ASPBE Award for Excellence in the Humorous/Fun Department.