,Singapore

Singapore is the fifth preferred destination for Chinese property investment in 2018

The city saw US$650m in acquisitions across four deals in 2018.

Chinese investors continued to pool money into Singapore real estate after recording US$650m in acquisitions across four deals in 2018, according to a report from Cushman & Wakefield. 

This puts Singapore as the fifth preferred overseas destination for Chinese real estate capital trailing behind the frontrunner Hong Kong which saw record US$9.5b in deals, United States (US$2.33b), Australia (US$1.74b) and UK (US$712m). Portugal, New Zealand, Italy, Cambodia and Germany round out the top ten.

Also readSingapore's overseas real estate investment jumped 35% to US$19.9b

In a survey, 14% of property investors from China intend to invest in Singapore in 2019 which is slightly more than the investor intention in Germany (10%), Canada (6%), New Zealand (6%) and Malaysia (4%) but less than US (35%), UK and Australia (24%) and Hong Kong (18%).

The top acquisitions in 2018 by Chinese real estate investors into Singapore include the $441m buy of Goodluck Garden condo by Perennial Real Estate and Qingjian International in November; the $157m purchase of Jalan Jurong Kechil development site in September and the US$38m acquisition of a development site located at 623A Bukit Timah Road in April.

However, the muted market environment brought about by the deepening trade dispute and tighter controls on capital outflow have pushed Chinese real estate investors more towards asset disposal than acquisitions. In fact, Singapore saw US$1.4b in sold assets in 2018 which includes the US$517m sale of an office 77 Robinson Road by CLSA Capital and the US$426m sale of an industrial site 20 Tuas South Avenue 14 by REC Group.

Cushman and Wakefield expects that favored markets like the US, UK, Australia and Hong Kong will continue to remain on the radar of Chinese real estate investors whilst investment into South Korea, Malaysia, Canada and outside the UK, Germany and Europe will remain unpopular over the coming months.

Photo from Singapore Property Review

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