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Singaporeans’ $37b Appetite for Australian Property

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Singaporeans bought 60 per cent of a Perth development's apartments off-the-plan, illustrating a growing appetite for Australian real estate investment, according to Asian proptech company Juwai.

Luxury boutique developer Jean Yip Holdings, a Singaporean entity, is developing Elements at Carousel in the WA capital. There has been strong Singaporean engagement in the development, which is due for completion in 2023.

“Singaporeans trust property as an asset class and trust Australia as an investment destination,” Juwai IQI Group executive chairman Georg Chmiel said.

“Singaporeans have been approved to acquire more than $37-billion of real estate in the past decade.”

The Asian proptech company tracked overseas investment from 12 countries across Asia. The top places for investment were the United States, then Australia and Thailand. Mainland Chinese investors were the key buyers across most markets.

Between 2009 and 2018 mainland Chinese investors spent $113 billion on Australian real estate assets, half of all Asia Pacific expenditure in the Australian market, according to Juwai. Singapore accounted for $37 billion during the same period.

Foreign investment in Australian property

CountryAU$ millions
China113,222
Singapore37,147
Malaysia18,098
Japan12,712
Hong Kong, SAR, China12,318
South Korea10,720
New Zealand4,672
Thailand2,572
India364
TOTAL ASIA PACIFIC211,825

^ Source: Juwai IQI, Foreign Investment Review Board

The report cites Australia’s “high-quality lifestyle, dependable economy and deft handling of the pandemic” as key elements in its desirability to offshore investors and potential migrants.

“Perth is the weekend home for many Singaporeans. When travel resumes, they expect to visit regularly,” Chmiel said.

“Singapore itself is expensive and very urban. In Perth, they can enjoy the great outdoors, great weather, great retail and restaurants, and that beautiful Aussie lifestyle.

"The surprise is how resilient Singaporean demand is. Australia’s relatively stable economy and effective handling of the pandemic have kept foreign interest from collapsing.”

The federal government has been in discussions with Singapore to establish a travel bubble to allow for quarantine-free travel for people who have been vaccinated. The bubble has been proposed for July this year.

Top 10 Australian cities for Asian investors

Rank20202019
1MelbourneMelbourne
2SydneySydney
3BrisbaneBrisbane
4HobartGold Coast
5AdelaideAdelaide
6PerthPerth
7Gold CoastCanberra
8CanberraHobart
9CairnsGeelong
10DarwinCairns

^ Source: Juwai IQI data 2020

The managing director of the Exal Group, Dr Bay Yeo, who is managing the development of Elements at Carousel, said the market in Perth was showing strong signs of recovery.

"We are cautiously optimistic about the real estate market in Perth in 2021,” Yeo said.

“If you look at the indicators, the underlying economy is improving, rental yields are increasing, vacancy rates are low at 0.9 per cent and the blue-ribbon suburbs are seeing strong capital growth.”

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Article originally posted at: https://theurbandeveloper.com/articles/singaporeans-australian-property