S'pore among Asia's biggest investors in overseas property

July 11,  2018

Cross-border property investments originating from Singapore increased by 35 percent year-on-year to US$19.9 billion in 2017, according to a Knight Frank report.

This made the city-state the third largest Asia Pacific investor in overseas real estate, behind Hong Kong, where offshore real estate investment surged 41 percent to US$20.5 billion, while China edged up by 8.0 percent to US$31.5 billion.

“While China remains the top capital exporter, Hong Kong and Singapore” recorded higher growths as limited local liquidity and diversification strategies spurred investors to seek opportunities in other countries, said Nicholas Holt, Knight Frank’s research head for Asia Pacific.

For Singapore, the top investment destination last year was the US, where a total US$6.6 billion in capital was invested, followed by Australia (US$3.3 billion) and the UK (US$2.8 billion).

“Investors based in Singapore seek income-generating assets in advanced economies to diversify risk, as these overseas assets also offer a source of recurrent income,” said Knight Frank Singapore’s recently appointed research head Dr Lee Nai Jia.

“While Singapore is a net exporter of capital, we continue to see inflows of capital from Hong Kong and China investors, both for development sites and investment properties,” noted Ian Loh, executive director and head of investment and capital markets at Knight Frank Singapore.

The property consultancy revealed that several Singaporean investors are currently on the lookout for possible investments in Europe and the US, mainly office assets as well as data centres and student housing.

Overall, outbound property investment from Asia Pacific reached US$90 billion last year, surpassing those from North America (US$80.9 billion) and Europe (US$83.3 billion).