Malaysians pip Chinese in S'pore property scene

Malaysians have emerged as the biggest foreign buyers of Singapore residential property, outpacing those from China.

According to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Malaysian buyers comprised 27.6 per cent of all foreigner purchases during the first half of 2012, compared to China's 20.3 per cent. This is a sharp contrast to the second half of 2011, when China occupied top spot with 29.6 per cent, and Malaysia had 18.7 per cent.

The resilience of Malaysian buyers is due to Singapore's proximity. There are also many Malaysians who are permanent residents (PRs) in Singapore, and PRs are allowed to purchase at least one 'ABSD-free' private property.

Indonesian investors have also return to the local property market. Some reasons for the revival in interest from Indonesian buyers are that Singapore is still a well-tested and well-positioned property hotbed for them, especially for those who have been on the sidelines during the prior prolonged sluggish central region home performance period. With homes in the central region seemingly poised for sustained recovery, some Indonesians (especially those who are PRs) may decide to quickly purchase a unit. Also, younger Indonesians who do not require posh or major-sized units to house their families see homes in Singapore as good avenues to be independent and yet remain close to their families.

All in all, it seems foreigners have started to accept the ABSD as a tax and are starting to hunt for properties in Singapore. And consultants are not the least bit surprised.

After all, Singapore is still one of the best places in the region to invest in property because of its clarity in ownership of property, low-tax environment, and absence of capital gains tax, low interest rate and stable government.

Source: Business Times – 5 July 2012