Savills China is beefing up its management team with the appointment of longtime CBRE executive Louisa Luo as country head of industrial and logistics.
Based in Shanghai, Luo will oversee strategic operations, business development and team management while continuing to integrate and strengthen Savills’ industrial and logistics business in China, the London-based property consultancy said in a release.
The industrial specialist joins Savills after a 15-year career at competitor CBRE, where she had served as regional managing director for central China, based in Wuhan, since April 2018, as well as executive director and head of of industrial and logistics service for China.
Luo has led numerous industrial and logistics transactions, including acquisition and disposal deals for Ascendas REIT, GLP, LaSalle Investment Management, KaiLong, Logos and Vanke, as well as acquisitions and built-to-suit projects for multinationals like Lego, Disney, Porsche, Volkswagen and BMW, Savills said.
In Step With 5-Year Plan
Luo joined US-based CBRE in 2006. The graduate of Shanghai University of Engineering Science was promoted to senior director and head of the China industrial team in 2014 and became an executive director in 2016. The veteran broker furthered her studies by earning an Executive MBA from Washington University in St Louis in 2018.
During her time at CBRE, Luo oversaw deals with transaction value of over RMB 6 billion ($940 million now).
Industrial upgrading is one of the top priorities of China’s 14th five-year plan, and the transformation will drive demand for industrial and logistics assets, said Savills China chief executive Siu Wing Chu.
“Louisa has great expertise and extensive industry resources in these sectors,” Siu said. “Her participation will boost our industrial and logistics business line, enable us to provide a wider range of professional services to clients and further demonstrate our long-term commitment to the Chinese market.”
According to Savills’ China Real Estate Market Outlook 2021, the country has up to 80 million square metres (861 million square feet) of Grade A warehouse stock, mostly in and around densely populated zones like Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, the Yangtze River Delta, the Greater Bay Area and the Chengdu-Chongqing conurbation.
Occupancy rates in the larger cities and their immediate periphery are within the range of 90-95 percent, though markets further afield can fall to 75-80 percent, Savills said. Demand comes mainly from third-party logistics, e-commerce, traditional retail and advanced manufacturing.
There is also a rising need for cold chain storage to meet demand from pharmaceutical companies and online grocery retailers.
“Investment interest in the logistics market is unlikely to wane in the short term as it has several advantages over other asset classes, namely, strong demand growth fundamentals, stable tenants, higher yields and restricted land supply near large population centres protecting markets from supply competition,” the report said.
Savills noted that several REITs with warehouse and logistics parks as the underlying assets are set to be launched in mainland China this year, providing an additional exit strategy for investors.