M’sians bailing on Australia, shifting focus on Singaporean properties instead

WHILE Malaysians were all over Australian property back in 2019, the tide is shifting towards Singapore this year as Malaysians cross-border buyers are flocking to its neighbouring country.

According to Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and OrangeTee & Tie, Malaysians have become the second most active foreign buyer of non-landed private homes in Singapore.

More specifically, Malaysians bought a total of 175 Singapore-based non-landed private homes in 3Q 2020, only to increase 11% to 194 units in 4Q 2020.

Commenting on the matter, Juwai IQI Group co-founder and CEO Kashif Ansari said that the shift in buying trend pushed Singapore to claim the top spot in the 10 most popular destinations to buy properties.

Australia dropped to 2nd place, followed by the US in 3rd. The UK moved up from 8th to 7th, Indonesia from 10th to 9th and Japan from 9th to 8th, pushing Hong Kong and the Philippines out from the top 10 entirely.

“COVID-19 shook up property buyers and changed their preferences. The border closures and travel restrictions made Singapore a more-popular destination because of its proximity and stability. Singapore imposes foreign ownership restrictions on landed residential properties,” Ansari explained.

“Even though Australia dropped one place in the rankings, Australian property still appeals to investors due to familiarity, sentiment, and most importantly, the market’s resilience and strong capital growth,” Ansari continued.

Like many other sectors that were negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the property sector also took a fair hit. However, the buying interest from Malaysian buyers has been picking up in tandem with the market recovery.

In fact, it was revealed that the number of units bought in 3Q 2020 and 4Q 2020 are higher than the pre-pandemic periods in 2019.

“Many Malaysians buy properties for their own use. Hence, they tend to buy mid to large-sized units. Some are investors who intend to park their money here for the long term and purchase units with one, two or three bedrooms. Some have bought luxury homes in the prime locations,” Ansari said.

“In 2021 and 2022, the number of Malaysian buyers in Singapore is likely to rise further as border restrictions continue to be eased and more workers come back to Singapore. We can expect demand to continue to rise.”

It is expected that prices and demand for homes are likely to continue to rise as the global economy is seen to rebound this year.

Foreign buying activities is also likely to pick up this year, which bodes well for new luxury projects that are slated to be launched this year and will in part target overseas buyers. – March 24, 2021

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