March 27 (Bloomberg) -- LaSalle Investment Management, with about $48 billion in property assets, plans to sell a portfolio of warehouses in Japan, according to four people familiar with the matter.
The portfolio consists of nine storage buildings that at least one potential bidder values at as much as 85 billion yen ($902 million), said two of the people, who asked not to be named because the information is private. The properties are in Tokyo and Osaka, one of the people said.
Japan’s distribution centers are rebounding from record high vacancies in 2009 amid increased demand for modern storage facilities, according to broker CBRE Group Inc. Industrial spaces returned 6 percent on average for the year ended October, more than double that for office buildings, according to London-based Investment Property Databank Ltd.
Nazumi Sento, a Tokyo-based spokeswoman for LaSalle at Arex Corp., a public relations company, declined to comment.
The vacancy rate in warehouses in Tokyo has declined to 3.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 from a peak of 20 percent in September 2009, according to CBRE. The asking rents for logistic properties rose to 6,140 yen per tsubo in the second half of last year, the highest since at least 2005, CBRE said. One tsubo, a standard measure of property area in Japan, is 3.3 square meters, or 35.5 square feet.
Japan’s distribution centers are drawing investors in the stock markets as well.
Nippon Prologis REIT Inc., a real estate investment trust set up by the world’s largest owner of industrial buildings, raised 100.3 billion yen through an initial public offering. The shares, which started to trade on Feb. 14, have risen 48 percent since then.
The IPO followed that of competitor Global Logistic Properties Ltd., partly-owned by the Government of Singapore Investment Corp., which raised about $1.3 billion in December also through initial public offering. GLP J-REIT has gained 58 percent since debut.
LaSalle Investment is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chicago-based real estate company Jones Lang LaSalle Inc., according to the company’s website.
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