Appealing Australia: Why Singaporeans are drawn to properties in the Land Down Under

Knight Frank said the SG government’s cooling measures were a factor.

Singaporeans are drawn to properties in Australia, particularly in the cities of Melbourne and Sydney, Knight Frank has found.

In its research, Knight Frank said interest in properties in the Land Down Under may even grow because of the implementation of Singapore’s new cooling measures, and given the buoyant property values and rents in the Australian market.

“Singaporean investors in Australian residential property favoured capital appreciation over rental income. A majority are generational buyers from the city-state and hold onto their properties much longer than other international investors,” Knight Frank said.

The Australian government also has a policy to channel foreign investment into new dwellings, which is why non-resident international buyers typically do not buy in the resale market and are generally limited to purchasing a new or off-the-plan property.

Whilst a transparent property market, the analyst said internal buyers still need adequate preparation before making a purchase in Australia.

Knight Frank explained that international property buyers would need to apply to the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) for approval before purchase.

“Each application is also property-specific and a fee is payable before it is processed and approved. The FIRB fee on application does not guarantee that the purchase will go through, hence it is important to seek guidance from property advisors along the buying process,” the firm said.

Amongst cities, Knight Frank said Singaporean professionals tend to be drawn to Sydney, whilst students and their families are attracted to Melbourne.

“Australia has always appealed to Singaporean buyers, especially from families with children heading there for education, and those looking for a second/holiday home. On average, these houses and apartments across major Australian cities recorded an average 6.8% and 21.9% capital growth year-on-year respectively,” Nicholas Keong, head of private office at Knight Frank Singapore, said.

“When buying apartments across Australia, close to three-quarters of international buyers are seeking a price point below A$1million, which is why more international investment sales tend to occur in Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Brisbane,” Keong added.

Recently, Flagstaff Hill Residences, a freehold 25-storey residential development, was launched in Singapore with a starting price of $472,337 (A$481,000) for a 50sqm for 1 bedroom apartment.

Knight Frank said the property was “well-received” by Singaporean buyers.

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