Monday, February 22, 2010

Malaysians hog Singapore’s private property market

Malaysians overtake Indonesians as top investors in Singapore's private property market. - Reuters pic

By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 22 — Over one quarter of private property sold to foreigners in Singapore last year were to Malaysians. This makes Malaysia the top source of foreign investors for private property in the island republic, overtaking Indonesia which held the top spot between 2004 and 2007.

According to a report by real estate services group DTZ in Singapore, Malaysia’s share of 27 per cent of total transactions compares with about 20 per cent for Indonesia. However, it is down sharply from about 40 per cent from 2000 to 20002 as the number of transactions from China and India have increased rapidly.

India and China collectively made up about 5 per cent of total private transactions in Singapore ten years ago but now make up over 20 per cent.

Sixteen per cent of homes worth above S$1.5 million (RM3.6 million) were sold to foreigners, making this the most popular segment.

The top three properties most favoured by foreigners are The Interlace, Cyan and Carribean at Keppel Bay which saw between 12 and 25 per cent of the transactions made by non-Singaporeans.

DTZ said that Singapore’s growing role as an Asian hub is likely to draw in more investors from overseas, therefore making greater price appreciation in the higher-end segment but added that price rises could be capped by government intervention.

“Runaway increase in prices like in 2007 is however not likely as concerns like weak consumer demand in both the US and Europe, along with credit tightening in China and possible government intervention to cool the market remain,” said DTZ.

Interest in foreign properties has surged among Malaysians thanks to favourable investment conditions at the destination countries, coupled with uncertainties on the domestic front.

Apart from Singapore, Malaysians have also been investing in many high-end condominium projects in London and Australia.

The Australian Trade Commission says Malaysians invested about A$4.9 billion (RM15.3 billion) in Australian property in 2008.

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