Singapore investors remain bullish on overseas property purchases: CBRE

The country also topped the outbound investment survey for the second year running.

For the second consecutive year, Singapore topped Asian outbound real estate investment in 2019 at $20.91b (US$15b), albeit reflecting a 33% decline YoY from the $30.67b (US$22b) registered in 2018. Comparably, Asian outbound commercial real estate investment fell 17% YoY to $62.73b (US$45b) in 2019. The perpetuation of capital controls in Mainland China was the primary reason for the moderation in overall investment activity across the region.

Michael Tay, head of capital markets Singapore said that for Singapore, the 33% YoY decline in investment volume was due to the lack of large portfolio transactions recorded in 2019. “This is compared to 2018, during which Mapletree Investments acquired two overseas logistics portfolio that amounted to US$4.2 billion. While office assets have been typically favored by Singapore-based investors, it is observed that in 2019, there had been stronger interest among a select number of Singapore investors shifting to look for income-generating assets in alternative sectors such as student housing.”

CBRE noted that in 2019, Singapore Press Holdings acquired a student housing portfolio in the UK for US$579 million, while Mapletree Investments purchased two purpose-built student housing buildings in Coventry, UK for US$117 million.

The survey also found that Singaporean investors possess a high intention to invest overseas in 2020, with North America, Western Europe and developed Asia set to be their main geographies of focus.

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