Property investment has always been a popular choice for Malaysian and Singaporean investors. Not only is it a relatively low-risk form of investment, it is also a tangible asset that can be utilised by the investor, be it to collect rental yield or for personal use. Although neighbours, the places favoured by Singaporean investors are rather different from Malaysian investors. Take a look at these 5 property hotspots for Singaporean investors, and let us know what you think!

Of course, investments always come with the element of risk, no matter how small. Singaporeans, look out for ‘rules, risks and rentability’ when investing overseas!

Japan’s property market has made substantial gains in recent times. As such, a growing number of investors from Singapore are showing interest in Japan’s real estate. According to data from the Japan Real Estate Institute, Tokyo real estate prices have been rising continuously for the last 50 months. Prices in the Greater Tokyo area alone rose by 8% in the year to November 2016. Growth in regions such as Tohoku, Kyushu, Okinawa and Hokkaido have been particularly strong too.

Several factors have combined to boost property prices in the country. One of them is “Abenomics”, the economic policies advocated by Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe, based upon “three arrows” of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing and structural reforms. The other main factor is Japan’s successful bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games, which is expected to boost tourism and property prices in the near future. Of course, it also helps that Japan has the reputation of being a beautiful country with plenty of attractions and delicious food, and is a favoured holiday destination for many Singaporeans.

tokyo japan

United Kingdom
London’s residential and commercial properties have always been a big draw for American, Russian, and Chinese investors. Now, wealthy Singaporeans are also showing a greater degree of interest in the city’s prime real estate of late, especially with the weakening of the British Pound after Brexit. So why is London so popular with high net worth investors?

  1. Its property market is easy to buy into. The investment process in the UK is straightforward and uncomplicated. High-quality legal advice is readily available and investors are assured of a buying process that is fairly painless.
  2. The size of London’s market ensures a reasonably quick sale when an owner decides to cash out.
  3. There is no shortage of property deals. There are a number of new projects coming up and resale properties always seem to be available.
  4. Student accommodation is a booming business. With the large number of foreign students studying in the UK, there are plenty of opportunities to tap into the demand for student housing.

The general view is that it is unlikely for a property investor to go wrong by buying real estate in London. The city’s position as a global financial hub and reputation as one of the foremost education centres in the world makes it a top choice for investors.

london tower bridge uk

Ah, the neighbour across the Causeway. Malaysia’s geographical proximity gives it a great advantage as an investment destination for Singaporeans. Even if properties in the likes of Japan or UK are out of reach, Malaysia real estate remains an affordable and logical choice for investors who prefer to put their money into properties that are nearby. Just take into account the exchange rate between the two countries!

The High Speed Rail (HSR) link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur will improve connectivity between the two countries, and is sure to lead a rise in property prices in Malaysia. However, this could take many years to play out, as the HSR is only expected to be completed around 2026. The Iskandar region in Johor, Malaysia also presents a buying opportunity for Singaporean investors, especially with ambitious projects being undertaken in the US$87 billion economic zone. In addition, properties in prime areas such as Kuala Lumpur and Penang are still favourite investment spots for Singaporean investors.

View of Kuala Lumpur and the KLCC Twin Towers (Photo from Mandarin Oriental)

For the year to October 2016, the Australian CoreLogic Home Value Index recorded a rise of 7.5%. In 2015, prices had risen by 10.1% in the same period. Many investors have registered significant gains by purchasing Australian properties. But every city in Australia may not present an equally attractive opportunity. Sydney and Melbourne are the best investment destinations in Australia, with Sydney recording an 10.6% increase in property prices. However, an investor who bought property in Darwin a year ago would have seen a fall in price to the extent of 3.8%.

Australia’s eight major cities are not equally attractive investment destinations. It is important to conduct detailed research before finalising a purchase in one of them.

australia sydney

Traditionally, the Cambodian real estate market has been dominated by investors from China and Korea. A recent report says that according to government data, the last 16 years have seen private investors from 18 countries entering Cambodia’s market. They have collectively completed 287 projects at an estimated capital investment of US$4.3 billion.

Over the years, the size of the projects has increased. Past projects usually had 200-300 units; recent ones had as many as 1,000 units each. As the country’s infrastructure improves, it is expected that its real estate prices will follow suit. In the last two years, mid-range properties and high-end properties have performed well while less expensive units have not registered much of a price increase.

Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh. Pictured here is the Central Market. (Photo from Thousand Wonders)

Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. Pictured here is the Central Market. (Photo from Thousand Wonders)