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SG Overseas buyers look further afield

Property Here - Monday, June 03, 2013

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By Andrew Batt:

Singapore will see property exhibitions featuring more unusual and off-the-radar projects in the coming weeks and months.

Property developments from France, Switzerland and Hong Kong will be showcased to local buyers and investors here during the next five weeks. Developers from more exotic and non-traditional cities and countries are also lining up to grab a slice of the growing interest in overseas property investments – interest that has grown following the latest round of cooling measures which came into effect on January 12.

The traditional three countries which have been the main focus for Singapore’s buyers – Malaysia, Australia and the United Kingdom – have been supplemented over the last two years with property investment opportunities from regional counties such as Thailand and the Philippines, as well as destinations further afield such as Dubai, New Zealand and Brazil.

The introduction of the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015 is widely predicted to see more cross-border property transactions as countries such as Vietnam and Myanmar make moves towards relaxing the foreign buying restrictions that are currently in place.

Robert Lee, a serial Singaporean property investor who spoke to PropertyGuru, said: “I’ve been investing in local and overseas properties for more than 10 years, and my entire focus right now is overseas as there’s just too much uncertainty locally.

“I’d urge anyone to really do their homework when investing overseas. You’ve really got to know what you’re getting in to, and never assume anything.”

Lee added that he is currently exploring the U.S. market for the first time as well as expanding his portfolio in Australia.

Stephen Ho, Director of International Project Marketing for CBRE Singapore, revealed his thoughts on why Singapore has seen more overseas property exhibitions.

He said: “London and Australia remain the most popular overseas property investment destinations, but what’s happening is Singapore agents who are unable to secure projects from those areas are selling the Singapore dream to overseas developers from other locations.”

“In my opinion, two key factors for a successful event are to have a strong database of existing investors, as well as a clear and easy exit strategy.”

Singapore investor interest in the U.S. is expected to increase during the next 18 months as more developers look to tap the local market. The number of European exhibitions – as evidenced by the French and Swiss projects that will hold their Asian launch events in Singapore – also looks set to increase.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email