Demand for Hong Kong properties continue to climb

Home prices in Hong Kong are escalating despite the government’s attempts to curb the rapid and steep climb.

OneKaiTak1Photo credit:

Buying a resale private property from the secondary market has become difficult due to the heavy stamp duties levied by the Hong Kong government on open market homes in an effort to curb rising property prices and a ballooning market. Stamp duties for first-time local buyers are particularly high and the move has slowed down activity in the secondary market considerably. Instead, it has created a demand for new homes in the primary market. Since homes in this market are sold directly by the developers, they are able to adjust home prices according to market demand and requirements, sometimes even offering incentives and discounts.

In the first month of 2016, the demand for new homes fell by 76 per cent. In the same time this year, it rose by 48 per cent. A complete turnaround. With the current lack of interest and activity in the secondary market, developers are  ceasing the current window of opportunity by its neck and adjusting prices according to rising demand. And the demand is high indeed. At China Overseas Land & Investment‘s new residential project situated on the site of the old Hong Kong airport, One Kai Tak, all 188 units were sold out in a single day last month.

OneKaiTak3Buyers may ramp up their buying speed and fervency in the months ahead, as they pre-empt the possibility of the Hong Kong government implementing further curbs on the market, in particular on individuals who sell their properties to purchase new ones.

Indian cities top in list of Asia’s property investment hotspots

India may not have previously come up as a potential goldmine for property investors, but real estate in some Indian cities have been creeping up the popularity charts and can now be viewed as some of Asia’s most prime investment real estate.

mumbaipropertyJust like in China, a huge country like India will no doubt have some cities which shine over the others. Mumbai and Bangalore have come up tops in a comparative table of 22 Asian markets. With many multi-national companies setting up regional headquarters or back offices in India, it comes as no surprise that commercial properties are key when it comes to real estate investment in India. The migration of locals from smaller cities and townships into these main cities and business hubs also mean a demand for rental properties are on the rise.

Singapore has fallen from its 11th place to 21st as residential property prices declined for 12 consecutive quarters. Even Tokyo, which topped the list at first place this year, have fallen to 12th place for next year as low interest rates see sellers holding on to their properties despite low vacancy rates. Japan’s declining economy also has a part to play in the market sentiments there.

newyorkapartmentThe mainland Chinese investors are some of the largest players in real estate markets across the globe, but they have begun to turn their attention away from Asia to markets further north such as London and New York. Property prices in China are soaring, and their yearning for foreign footholds and connections have brought them into both established markets in the West and emerging ones in the region.

Know your Asia-Pacific Real Estate property restrictions

As the property buying-selling scene bubbles possibly into a timely frenzy, governments across the Asia-pacific region are tightening the hold on local properties. Foreign buying of property might be becoming more difficult, especially if you are unfamiliar with the ins-and-outs of the industry.

res280Countries with the most amount of restrictions include China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam. Australia and Thailand are in the middle tier and Hong Kong and Malaysia have the least amount of restrictions. Singapore straddles the middle and last tier, with some restrictions applying while in Sentosa Cove, there is almost no restriction where non-PR foreigners can purchase landed homes. On the mainland, foreigners can buy private homes albeit with a 15 per cent additional buyer’s stamp duty.

Melbourne ApartmentIn countries where Singaporeans frequent when looking at investing in real estate include Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. A brief outline of regulations in these countries are:

  • Malaysia – In general no restrictions apply, but foreign buyers can only purchase properties above the threshold value of RM500,000 per unit.
  • Thailand – Foreigners can purchase land with a 30-year lease period, with the option of renewing for two following 30-year periods. But foreign real estate buyers can buy freehold properties for up to 49 per cent of a single development. If exceeded, the purchase can only be leasehold.
  • Australia – While foreigners cannot purchase resale homes, all uncompleted properties or land earmarked for development can be purchased.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of these property restrictions? In countries where land is scarce, governments’ protectionist schemes are deemed as necessary to keep prices in check. But in places such as Singapore and Hong Kong, these schemes do not yet seem to keep foreign buyers away. Is there a reason behind the moves or merely a calculated and well-timed measure to buoy coffers and boost growth?

No better time to Invest in Overseas Property

Simply because if the time is right for you, it is the right time. There are risks, which comes with all types of investment of course, but you can certainly make wise, calculated decisions by attending property seminars, speaking with experienced industry experts and doing your own research.


With information of overseas property becoming more accessible and detailed, and with online sources available 24-7, information is at your fingertips, literally. Why purchase a property in Asia? It is nearer to home, and also makes a good holiday home option. Depending on the rules and regulations in the country of purchase, properties are cheaper and have more space for growth. And rental yields can be substantial, if you invest in the right property in the right location. Compared to Singapore properties, where home loans and buying curbs are increasingly being implemented, the real estate landscape overseas could be more fertile for short-term investment.

Horizon Hills in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia.

Horizon Hills in Nusajaya, Johor, Malaysia.

Malaysian properties are increasingly popular, especially with strong and steady developments at the Iskandar region. Horizon Hills in Nusajaya, Johor,is part of the Iskandar Malaysia development. Movenpick WHite Sands PattayaNear enough to Singapore with properties half the price or less of the same here, with the luxury of the space of your own, landed homes here are easily accessible via the North-South Expressway, Malaysia-Singapore Second Link, Skudai Expressway and the Perling Expressway. Cluster housing within a spacious buy cosy 1,200 acres, it encourages family and community living.

Looking further north into Thailand, beachfront living in the heart of Asia is offered by Apex Development. Situated in Pattaya, the Movenpick White Sands Beach Condotel development provides investors the opportunity to take part in a hotel development by purchasing hotel rooms which they can in turn earn rent on. This development is nearing completion, is targeted to be ready by end 2013.

But if it an urban lifestyle you fancy, Ayala Land, part of the Ayala Corporation in the Philippines is offering up that possibility at your doorstep. A variety of properties under the Ayala Land umbrella will put you in the centre of Makati city, Manila, with conveniences, shopping and much more in the vicnity.

Garden Towers and Escalada Scelod condominiums in the Philippines. Photo by Ayala Land.

Garden Towers and Escala Salcedo condominiums in the Philippines. Photo by Ayala Land.

Still undecided about which to go for, or perhaps you might even be considering a few, the iProperty International Property expo is where you will find all these developers and more, under one roof, presenting collections and properties at the same time. It might just be the best way to do your research, consult with experts, gather various information and compare pros and cons across the board before signing on the dotted line. The exhibition runs from 26 to 28 July at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre and you can pre-register here.

Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey reveals nearly two thirds of Singaporeans in the market to purchase property in the next 12 months

Many looking at overseas investment opportunities

Despite rising house prices and concerns about affordability, a survey has revealed that 62% of Singaporeans still intend to purchase property in the next six to twelve months. This is one of the key findings of the Asia Property Market Sentiment Report (H2) 2012 released by the iProperty Group, owner of Asia’s No.1 network of property portals, today.

“While housing affordability remains a major concern for consumers in Singapore, with many adopting a wait-and-see approach, the majority of Singaporeans are still actively looking to purchase property in the short to mid-term,” says Sean Tan, General Manager, Singapore. “This suggests that despite the economic situation in Europe and the US, which has slowed demand from some of Singapore’s key trading partners, the sentiment among consumers in the Singapore real estate market remains positive.”

Survey findings also revealed that 38% of respondents in Singapore were considering investing overseas with Malaysia and Australia being the two favoured destinations. The Singapore figure was noticeably higher than for consumers in Hong Kong (15%), Indonesia (32%), and Malaysia (19%).

“It’s not surprising that people are looking outside of Singapore for investment opportunities. Singapore’s currency is one of the strongest in the region and house prices are among the highest. For many, this makes overseas investment a more attractive proposition than investing locally,” added Tan.

Other findings in the report showed that 86% of people surveyed in Singapore cited affordability and rising house prices as their biggest concern about the local property market. Respondents also felt strongly about ensuring the affordability of HDB flats. 80% came out in favour of the Singapore Government’s continued involvement in maintaining the price of resale HDB flats at affordable levels. Additionally, 63% feel that the Government should step up its efforts in monitoring the number of shoebox apartments in a residential development.

Summary of key findings:

•    62% of Singapore survey respondents indicated that they were in the market to purchase a property in the next six to twelve months.

•    38% of the survey respondents showed a keen interest in investing in overseas property, significantly higher than all the other countries surveyed

•    86% of people surveyed in Singapore cited affordability and rising house prices as their biggest concern about the Singapore property market.

•    80% of respondents felt strongly that the Singapore Government should continue to be involved in maintaining the prices of resale HDB flats at an affordable level.

•    63% of those surveyed feel that the Singapore government should step up in its efforts to monitor the number of shoebox apartments in a residential development.

The Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey 2012 was carried out in July 2012 and attracted over 25,000 respondents. The iProperty Group leveraged on its market leading websites in Malaysia (, Hong Kong (, Indonesia ( and and Singapore ( to gauge the opinions of consumers on the property market. The majority of the survey respondents were between 26 and 50 years old and mainly held executive/managerial and professional level positions with an annual income above the national average. 2,983 respondents from Singapore took part.

Asian Overview
The survey findings revealed interesting and valuable insights on how consumers from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore viewed the property market. Key regional highlights include:

•    Respondents in Malaysia and Indonesia preferred landed property, while respondents in Hong Kong and Singapore opted for private condominiums/serviced apartments as their property of interest.

•    Affordability and rising house prices continue to remain the biggest concerns for survey respondents in all four markets.

•    Majority of the respondents in each country had occupied their current premises for less than five years. The survey reveals that many respondents aspire to upgrade their current living conditions once every five years on average.

•    Location was the highest rated factor for respondents in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Respondents in Hong Kong, however, rated price to be most important factor in determining the purchase of property.

Similar to previous survey findings, location and price were still the two key factors that survey respondents viewed as important, ahead of political/economic climate, when deciding to purchase a property.

“In Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, location trumped price whereas respondents in Hong Kong viewed price to be the key factor,” says Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group. “In the property industry, location and price are the most important factors that any property buyer and investor should look into before embarking on what is said to be their biggest investment.”


Download Asia Property Market Sentiment Report H2 2012


About Singapore ( Singapore, part of the iProperty Group Limited, is the country’s number 1 property website with more than 600,000 property listings in Singapore and the rest of Asia, and over 700,000 monthly unique visitors. Working with more than 14,000 real estate agents, hosts the most comprehensive online database of properties for sale and rent in Singapore and powers the real estate channels and property content of xinMSN,,,,,,, and Every month, the website helps tens of thousands of Singaporeans, expatriates and foreigners find their dream homes or investment properties.

Complete our Asia Property Sentiment Survey 2012 and WIN!

The Asia Property Sentiment Survey is here! This time round, you will stand a chance to win more attractive prizes!

Prizes descriptions:

Grand Prize: 3D2N for 2 at Taman Ahimsa, Worth SGD990
Second prize: 3D2N for 2 at Fivelements, Puri Ahimsa, Worth SGD990
Third prize: 3D2N for 2 at Villa Cantik, Worth SGD500
Consolation Prize: S$20 Crabtree & Evelyn Gift Vouchers. (50 lucky winners)

All it takes is 3 minutes of your time to complete the survey to be in the running for the prizes. Your participation is greatly appreciated as your views and sentiments will provide invaluable insights on the Singapore property market and Asian property market trends.

After you have completed the survey, another page will open for you to enter the contest. Do remember to provide your particulars to be eligible for the contest. You can be assured that your personal particulars will be kept strictly private and confidential, and your responses are not personally identifying.

Lastly, all survey questions must be answered to be eligible for the contest. Contest ends on 30 July 2012.

Hurry and start clicking the blue button below and be on your way to win! We wish you the best of luck!

*Results will be announced on 31 August 2012 on our Facebook Fan Page.



The iProperty Group and The Asian Property Market

Over the last few months, there have been numerous reports flooding the main stream and online media with predictions of the property market in Asia. Given the slowing demand from key trading partners, the United States and Europe, the Asian economy was set to take a downturn.

As we serve an ever-growing number of consumers, agents and developers, we leveraged on our market leading websites in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore as a bellwether to gauge the opinions of thousands of consumers in the region on the property market.

Conducted from November 2011 to January 2012 and gathering a total of 8,499 respondents, the first cross market online property survey of its kind revealed that despite the worldwide economic uncertainty, a majority of these survey respondents had optimistic views on the property market in Asia.

Across the four countries surveyed, the survey respondents had somewhat more in common than they had differences. The key similarities include:

  • Majority of people answering the survey in each country had occupied their current premises for less than five years
  • Economic and political concerns were not high on the list of concerns for most survey respondents
  • Location and price were the two most important factors taken into account in purchasing property, while political/economic climate and recommendations from family and friends were the least important.

During the launch of the survey, I was asked, “What is the most important factor to consider before investing in property?” To which I responded three factors – LOCATION, LOCATION and LOCATION!

Why? Because location is the most important factor that property investors look into as it ultimately will help determine how much yield you get, and how much capital growth. So before deciding on purchasing or investing in any property, do your research. Study the amenities, accessibility to public transportation, schools and etc.

So it wasn’t a surprise that location was one of two key factors that respondents considered important.

A key difference across the region was in the type of property these respondents preferred. The survey findings showed that landed property was the most popular type of property that respondents in Malaysia and Hong Kong favoured. In Singapore, private condominiums were the most popular type of property, while houses were the most popular in Indonesia.

It was also interesting to note that most of the survey respondents in each country had only been in their current premises for five years or less. Another key distinction was that when it came to ownership of properties, over 40% of Malaysian’s surveyed reported owning two or more properties, a higher proportion than in any other country. Hong Kong survey participants had the fewest property owners.

On the overseas property front, Singaporeans showed a higher interest than respondents from Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong, with a majority choosing Malaysia and Australia as their most preferred overseas locations.
Malaysians on the other hand preferred Australia, Singapore and United Kingdom as their preferred overseas destination of investment, with many citing migration or retirement plans as the main reason of purchase.

To learn more about these findings, you can download a full copy of this report by clicking here –

The survey report has offered us valuable insights of the property market and I trust that you too will find this report highly beneficial as it offers an unbiased view on the Asian property market.

Enjoy the weekend! Asia Property Market Sentiment Report 2012

In December last year, many of you participated in Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey, which resulted in this Report. We thank you for making this Report so great, filled with insights that we’re sure will help you make better property decisions – here and overseas.

As the first regional online property survey of its kind, the Asia Property Market Report comprises of 7,720 responses from website visitors and subscribers of iProperty Group networks in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong. The survey revealed a common thread amongst property buyers throughout the region, but also key country-specific findings.

Did you know?

“85.6% of respondents in Singapore deemed affordability and
rising housing prices as the top 2 issues in the property market.”

“42.2% of Singaporean users in the survey showed interest in overseas property,
citing Malaysia and Australia as their most preferred overseas locations.”

“Over half (51.7%) of Singapore buyers has a budget of
between SGD 500,000 to SGD 1 million.”

” Two-thirds (66.4%) felts that the Singapore property market is holding
up well despite the threat of a global recession.”

” 58.3% agreed that the government should
step in to control COV on HDB flats.”


Download the full 65-page Report now.