Why Singaporeans should invest in Australia property

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If moving abroad to live, work or retire is a dream, why not choose Australia as your destination?

Although the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) carefully monitors foreign interest in Australian property (to prevent foreigners from buying property for speculation or rental purposes and driving property prices up), the country is still a great place to call home, especially for the long term.

The exchange rate difference between the AUD and SGD is roughly 16%. However, new developments from Cbus, Lend Lease, Mirvac and Central Equity are all priced around the AUD450 - 700K range.

This is for 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with an average of 50 - 100 square meters (538 - 1076 sq.ft.). Most include adequate parking space.

These properties are also located within 7km of the central business district in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. They are also close to schools, public transport and other amenities.

Compared to Singapore - where a 2 bedroom 1,000 sq.ft condo in a prime area can cost anything north of SGD980,000 - Australian property is not only proportionately cheaper but bigger.

Additionally, with the Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) cooling measure, a further 20% loan deposit is required before you can invest in a second property. Therefore, the deposit of a 2 bedroom condo, should it cost SGD1.4 million, will approximately be SGD500K.

A third property investment will bump that percentage up to 40%.

While Singapore property prices are mostly consistent regardless of where they're located, Australian properties are priced differently in each state.

The type of property and its location and proximity to amenities and high population centres will also affect its price.

For example, in Victoria, a city in Melbourne, the median house price is AUD502,000 (SGD590,575.52) while the median unit price is AUD428,000 (SGD503,575.07).

In Singapore, the median price of a 5 room HDB resale apartment in Tampines is SGD692,143.97 (AUD588,269.03).

Landed property like detached houses, terraced and semi-ds in Singapore fetch prices above SGD1 million. For example, a 1,862 sq.ft house in Joo Chiat goes for SGD2 million (AUD1,701,648.59).

Even in the situation where property prices are more expensive in Australia than Singapore, the cost of living balances this out.

For example, cars do not have COE price tags and are not exorbitantly priced. A report in July 2012 stated that a family sized Sedan in Singapore roughly priced at S152,000 (inclusive of COE) is almost the same price as a U.S metropolitan home ($158,100).

Owning a car in Australia does not require you to take bank loans, nor do they cost so much that they begin to feel like another property purchase.

Aside from economical and financial reasons, Australia has larger swaths of land, fresh air, good climate and a thriving Asian-Australian population.

Furthermore, healthcare costs are either borne by the government or institutions instead of the individual.

This frees up a lot of your money and removes the burden of the consolidated costs from your shoulders.

Australian taxes may be higher but purchasing power is 53.18% higher than Singapore. The retirement capabilities of Australians are well acknowledged as one, if not the best, in the world.

For a Singaporean with enough cash to purchase a BTO, resale flat or landed property, moving to Australia is the affordable and cheaper choice.

Even if you have to take loans to do so, there are avenues to make this possible without incurring too long a debt.

Ultimately, Australia is not so far away from home that a short trip back for the weekend is inconvenient.

 

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