As investors from protest-hit Hong Kong seek out new places to call home, it would appear that many have shunned Singapore due to its higher property prices.
The city-state is particularly expensive when extra costs, such as additional buyer’s stamp duty, are taken into consideration. Since July 2018, foreign home buyers in Singapore pay stamp duty of 20 percent, an increase from 15 percent previously, reported Bloomberg.
“People here tend to think there are only two cities in the world — Hong Kong and Singapore,” said Savills executive director of research and consultancy Alan Cheong.
“They think if people flee Hong Kong, they’ll all automatically come to Singapore. But everyone isn’t Li Ka-shing. Most are just ordinary salaried workers,” he noted, referring to Hong Kong’s richest billionaire.
With this, Hong Kong investors turned their attention to Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan, where property prices were cheaper.
Cheong revealed that a property in central Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, for instance, cost RM1,500 (S$495) per sq ft (psf), while a similar apartment in Singapore would be priced at S$1,500 psf or more.
Thailand is famous for its touristy allure, while Taiwan made the list due to its relative ease of assimilation.
“Taiwan is also majority Chinese, so it’s similar, whereas places in the West are attractive for those wanting to get away from China or Asia generally,” said Nicholas Mak, the Singapore-based head of research at APAC Realty.
Investors with deep pockets, however, like Singapore’s active resale market, said Mak. Singapore developers were also considered as more reliable, offering better quality projects.
“Professionals are interested in Singapore because it’s politically stable and safe,” said Centaline general manager David Hui, adding that they are mostly in “finance or law, or owners of businesses over 35”.
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Fiona Ho, Digital Content Manager at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email email@example.com