More S’poreans looking to buy property in Malaysia

It appears that more Singaporeans are looking at buying private residential properties in Malaysia according to some real estate agents.

Malaysia-based developer Eastern & Oriental, for instance has seen a 20 per cent increase in enquiries on its project in Penang from home hunters in Singapore.

Fifty-six-year-old retiree Soh Poh Neo has been investing in properties in the US and Singapore for the past 20 years.

Last year, she turned her attention to Malaysia and bought two luxury apartments at Andaman at Quayside condominiums in Penang.

“I don’t think I can find this sort of project in Singapore. With the unblocked seafront, you can only find it in Sentosa,” she said.

Her apartments won’t be completed till 2013, but she said prices have already gone up by over a third.

Apart from attractive prices, Madam Soh said she was also drawn to Penang’s economic prospects.

Developer Eastern & Oriental said 30 per cent of the units at Andaman at Quayside have been sold after just two previews.

Currently, a third of the buyers are foreigners with 70 per cent of them from Singapore.

Aileen Han, Singapore country manager for E & O Property Development, said: “Affordability, investor-friendly policies, and the opportunity to own your own freehold property… A lot of them actually come for a long-term purpose.”

Market watchers said Kuala Lumpur and Penang are the top property investment destinations in Malaysia.

But they warn that the high-end residential property segment in Asia may remain lacklustre, as investors look to the West for cheaper assets.

Donald Han, vice chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, said: “Asia certainly will have its measures being felt, because of continuous cooling measures by the governments.

“While we saw very strong activity by high networth investors, particularly coming from the Asia Pacific region, I think the course might change in the next 12 months, where we see more outflow in terms of money going into markets like in Europe and the US by high networth Asian investors.”

Experts said this diversion of funds to the West will affect demand for luxury homes and could weigh on high-end home prices going forward, especially in markets like Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong where prices have risen by some 25 per cent in recent years.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 22 Dec 2011

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