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SG Developers making overseas push as cooling measures bite

Property Here - Monday, December 23, 2013

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Mid-tier developers from Singapore are laying the foundations of their overseas business as land prices rise and domestic sales plunge, while foreign rivals are betting high stakes on the long term prosperity of the city-state, media reports said. 

Following CapitaLand’s lead, Oxley Holdings and Hiap Hoe ventured abroad this year as government measures to curb skyrocketing property prices resulted in a 50 percent decline in private home sales during the third quarter. 

The outlook for prices has been further dimmed by the government’s plans for a bumper supply of new homes in the next 10 years. Despite this, land prices continue to increase primarily due to strong interest from foreign developers lured by the country’s economic and political stability.  

“The Singapore market is now very tough,” noted Teo Ho Beng, Chief Executive Officer of Hiap Hoe. “Getting new land is a challenge, because there is so much competition.”

Hiap Hoe made its maiden foray abroad by purchasing three Australian properties over the last four months. Teo said the company expects to see the majority of its revenue coming from outside Singapore.  

Meanwhile, Oxley Holdings acquired real estate and invested in developers in China, Britain, Malaysia and Cambodia, while Sim Lian Group grew its overseas portfolio buying property in Australia.

With 98 percent of its revenue coming from Singapore, SingHaiyi Group acquired two US properties this year. The company made the Singapore market its focus two years ago on the back of property cooling measures in its native Hong Kong.