Malaysians Snap Up Singapore Property as Others Eye Homes Here

Posted on: 2015-09-30

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 '” Malaysians are among the top home buyers in Singapore in the global realty game of musical chairs that has regional investors eyeing property here, according to the Financial Times.

According to the UK-based site, the increased market activity in the region is due to the view that the island-republic was a safe place to park one's wealth while Malaysia was seen as tempting for speculators looking for quick gains.

'In Singapore, top buyers are Malaysians and Indonesians who consider the city state to be a safe place for investing their wealth,' Nicholas Holt, head of research for Asia-Pacific at real estate consultancy Knight Frank, was quoted as saying.

'Buyers in Singapore and Hong Kong are also starting to look at Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia and the Philippines, although their strategy is often short-term and aimed at reaping quick capital gains,' he added.

The news will be of concern for Malaysians looking to buy locally, however, amid continuing complaints of unaffordable home prices and difficulty in securing financing.

Putrajaya has taken various measures to mitigate the issue '” including steps to discourage speculation and increasing the availability of affordable homes '” with mixed results.

Singapore is a preferred destination for many Malaysians exiting the country due to its proximity to Malaysia and shared culture.

Japan has also emerged as a firm favourite for property investors as prices remained robust in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics but properties in Hong Kong and Singapore appeal to investors looking to employ the 'buy-and-hold strategy aimed at achieving capital gains'.

Asian buyers, however, are beginning to look to the US for property investments as 'local political and economic uncertainty' has made Asia less appealing.

'Whenever there is an upheaval in the world, they want to come here. They buy apartments in New York as a second or third home when their children are five years old, as an investment. Then, the kids live there while they go to university in the US. The kids grow up and marry. It's a family cycle,' explained Elizabeth Stribling, who sells luxury residential developments in New York.

Bloomberg reported today that Singapore's property prices continue to slide amid a weak currency and rising borrowing costs, which could see prices dip as much as 5 per cent, which would be its biggest decline since 2001, Knight Frank LLP said.


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