Singaporeans are increasingly investing in luxury properties overseas

Thailand, Malaysia, and Australia are the top three destinations for Singaporean investment  

Paul Ashburn, co-managing partner at HLB Thailand, shares that Thailand is the destination in which people are instantly attracted to its natural beauty.

Moderated by Jules Kay, managing director of PropertyGuru Asia Property Awards and Events, analysts gather to share insights on why Singaporeans choose to do luxury investments in Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand.  

In the exclusive seminar – Luxury Investments Outside of Singapore: Tax, Benefits and other Implications – presented by CNA Luxury and PropertyGuru, Foo Kon Tan LLP Partner Raymond Kong starts off with an introduction to Singaporean property buyers.  

The top destinations for Singaporean investment will be Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand, but in terms of the Singapore property market itself, it is also doing very well. Overall, in Q3 2021, many believe that the growth is more direct and new units will be substantially launched. However, Kong says that overseas investments are very interesting and advertising to Singaporeans because they trust property as an asset class, and real estate is one way to diversify their investment portfolio. Property investment provides a slow and stable return over the long-term.  

In addition, Josh Chye, partner and head of Tax HLB Mann, explains that Australia is an attractive destination to Singaporean buyers for many reasons. Firstly, the nation has four out of the top 10 most livable cities in the world, which include Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, and Brisbane. Australia is also in close proximity to other Asian countries, has beautiful beaches and golf courses, as well as seven out of the world’s top 100 universities – a big factor for Singaporeans to move and provide schooling for their children.  

Luxury homes can also be built in substantial blocks due to the low dense living population, so buyers can have amazing home facilities like tennis courts and outstanding views. Furthermore, Australia is known for its diversity and culture and is seen as a safe place to do business with its mature economy.  

Looking at Malaysia, Judd Matthew Ang, Senior Executive Director, HLB Ler Lum, says Malaysia has many to offer Singaporean investors from sophistication to emphasis on lifestyle. Ang mentions that luxury property can be bought from the standard markets (primary and secondary), but another market that he wants to introduce is the market for distressed assets.  

Moreover, Malaysia has a diverse range of properties that are available, including resorts, condominiums, mansions, and villas. Such real estate also answers to different lifestyles investors might be seeking such as contemporary, modern, and architectural. Buyers can look to live in major cities like Johor and Penang or choose more suburban regions for peace and relaxation. However, Malaysia’s most attractive aspect is its cost of living, which was revealed to be the cheapest in Southeast Asia. 

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Lastly, Paul Ashburn, co-managing partner at HLB Thailand, shares that Thailand is the destination in which people are instantly attracted to its natural beauty. The country is the largest market in the region for luxury holiday homes. In Bangkok’s luxury sector, foreigners can purchase condos or apartments, as there are restrictions to foreign ownership of land. Resort towns of Pattaya and HuaHin are also very well-known, which in addition to condos, buyers can find luxury housing developments like Falcon Hill that won Best Housing Development at last year’s PropertyGuru Thailand Property Awards programme. In the south, Samui and Phuket have villa offerings that are synonymous with luxury, but if the beach is not investors’ cup of tea, then Khao Yhai and Chiang Mai in the north can also provide apartments and landed luxury property.  

He concludes that there are a number of factors to why Thailand is so attractive to Singaporean investors. An important aspect to keep in mind is ongoing management and the upkeep of the property to maintain high standards. A number of Thai developers in luxury have turned up with recognisable hotel brands that they bring in to manage their development once completed. The result is peace of mind for owners as they receive hotel-like services and amenities, as well as the possibility to make extra income from the property via rental programs run by hotel managers.  

The Property Report editors wrote this article. For more information, email: [email protected].