|Top 5 cities - Asia Pacific
- Hong Kong, Hong Kong (8th)
- Singapore, Singapore (11th)
- Seoul, South Korea (14th)
In Asia, inflation as measured on the Mercer basket of goods has remained relatively low in the past 12 months. The majority of Asian currencies have strengthened against the US dollar between March 2009 and March 2010. The Australian and New Zealand currencies have increased the most against the US dollar over the period.
Mercer basket inflation in China remains moderate overall. The rates measured from March 2009 to March 2010 in the Mercer survey ranged from 0.25% in tier-1 cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen to 4.04% in tier-2 cities such as Tianjin.
International brands and imported goods are less available in tier-2 cities and thus prices are more likely to be affected by the locally manufactured goods.
In Beijing and Shanghai, the global economic climate and the demand situation led landlords to lower rentals in 2009. As a consequence, the average rentals of villa, luxury apartment and serviced apartment properties have continued to decline slightly since March 2009. In general, ample availability of quality properties and service apartments remains. In 2010 in Shanghai, rents started to moderately increase over the past months as the housing market prices rebounded with high demand. In Beijing, the low demand forces landlords of different types of properties, including villas, luxury apartments and serviced apartments, to decrease the rents. As a consequence, average rentals have continued to decline slightly over the past six months but are expected to stabilise in 2010.
Japanese cities measure 0% for both Tokyo and Osaka over the last 12 months.Due to the economic downturn and increased supply of accommodation, rental prices have continued to decrease over the past couple of months. A large number of new residential units became available, and increased supply reduced pressure on rents.
Overall, price increases in Mumbai are relatively stable in comparison to other Indian cities. The energy budget in New Delhi increased because of the increase in water tariffs as well as more extensive usage of generators due to power cuts. Power cuts started in June 2009 and accelerated in November 2009. They are due to the ongoing construction works for the Commonwealth Games that will take place 3–14 October 2010. Power cuts are frequent in many parts of the city, including in the expatriates areas, and people have to rely on generators, which increases the amount spent for energy costs.
The residential rental markets in India have not recovered yet and demand is still quite low in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. Property rental prices have remained pretty stable since the last survey. The rising number of expatriates coming back to India should have a positive impact on the real estate market and, as a consequence, a slight increase in rental rates is expected during the coming months.
In Sydney, high-end properties are a lot more negotiable due to the lack of movement in the relocation market, and slight decreases can generally be noticed.
As an increase in occupational demand was observed at the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010, prices have been increasing over the past months. The supply of new properties coming on the lease market in Hong Kong has also fallen, while demand remains strong. It is expected that tenants will compete for properties, which will cause prices to pick up in 2010.
Since the beginning of 2009, prices for residential rentals in Singapore have decreased sharply as a result of negative economic status. In later 2009, prices showed some signs of easing, as there were more rental enquiries for residential rental offers. With a stabilizing economic environment and robust leasing demand, residential rental prices in Singapore have shown increasing figures since September 2009. From the beginning of 2010, rental rates have been increasing slightly, as demand for rentals is picking up.