With the COVID-19 pandemic shaking up property buyer’s preferences, Malaysians are now preferring Singapore over Australia for home buying, according to industry player.
IQI Group CEO Kashif Ansari noted that travel restrictions and border closures made Singapore a more popular destination to acquire a home due to the city-state’s stability and proximity, reported The New Straits Times (NST).
Malaysians have emerged as the second-most active foreign buyers of non-landed private homes in Singapore, based on official data from the city-state’s Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Malaysians acquired 194 units of non-landed private homes in Q4 2020, up 11% from the 175 units purchased in Q3 2020.
In Singapore, foreigners can only purchase apartments and condominiums due to a restriction on ownership of landed homes.
Aside from seeing Singapore as a good vacation and retirement destination, Malaysians also like the city-state for work and education, said Kashif.
“They are also looking for safe investments and asset diversification. Singapore offers several advantages compared to other destinations in Asia such as strong political leadership, sound economic fundamentals, and global status as a commercial hub,” he said as quoted by NST.
He added that Singapore, which is extremely accessible, is rapidly turning into Southeast Asia’s primary hub for second-home ownership.
He said that Singapore is more popular when it comes to acquiring real estate, with Malaysian buyers pushing it from third to first place last year.
Australia fell from first to second spot, while the United States slid from second to third place.
The Philippines and Hong Kong entirely dropped out of the top 10 preferred destination for property buying, while Japan climbed from ninth to eighth spot.
The United Kingdom and Indonesia moved up the rankings from eighth to seventh place and tenth to ninth place, respectively.
New Zealand clinched the sixth spot and UAE occupied the tenth place.
While Australia slid one place in the rankings, Kashif explained that real estate there remains appealing for Malaysian investors due to familiarity, market’s resilience, and strong capital growth.
Moreover, Australia is a popular destination for education for many Malaysians.