Infrastructure Quality Critical to Urban Investment

commercial development

A new report has found that the quality of urban infrastructure plays a crucial role in drawing real estate investors and developers.

A new report produced by the Urban Land Institute in collaboration with Ernst and Young found that leading members of the property sector around the globe consider the quality of urban infrastructure to be critical to drawing investment.

The Infrastructure 2014: Shaping the Competitive City report based its findings on a global survey of 241 government officials and 202 senior real estate executives across the full spectrum of industry roles, including developers, advisors, lenders and investors.

The survey was conducted in January 2014 and covered large and medium-sized cities around the world.

According to the survey’s results, infrastructure quality is one of the factors exerting the biggest influence on the real estate investment and development decisions of both public and private sector players, scoring an across the board rating of 88 per cent.

Senior government officials deemed the quality of infrastructure as their chief concern, with a rating of 91 per cent, while for executives in the private sector consumer demand was the top priority, with a rating of 90 per cent.

According to ULI CEO Patrick L. Phillips the report’s findings signify an increasing awareness within the real estate industry of the importance of quality infrastructure to the development of healthy and functioning urban communities.

“We have entered a new era that requires new approaches to funding and building infrastructure to support the creation of communities that are healthier, more liveable, economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable,” he said.

Quality telecommunications systems came in at the top of the list of infrastructure categories that drive investment by the real estate sector. Roads and bridges were also important considerations, followed by energy utilities which are reliable yet economical.

Public transportation ranked first in terms of infrastructure investment priorities for senior members of industry, with 78 per cent of respondents indicating that transit systems should take precedence in terms of improvements to infrastructure.

“This survey indicates growing awareness among the public and private sector of the importance of investments in a variety of transportation systems, including ‘active’ transportation that offers an alternative to constant car use,” said Phillips.

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Marc Howe is a native of Canberra who spent most of the noughties in Shanghai and Beijing, where he witnessed the flourishing growth of the mainland Chinese construction and mining economies first hand. He has extensive experience as a finance and business journalist, having worked on numerous ren...

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