Real estate agencies step up efforts to woo Chinese investors

Some Singapore real estate agencies are wooing Chinese investors to buy properties here.

They are doing so by having a representative office in China and networking with private bankers to reach prospective buyers.

These initiatives have benefited HSR International Realtors and ECG Property.

It is not just about the property for most Chinese investors, it is the lifestyle.

Property agencies said that six-in-10 prospective Chinese customers are asking about Sentosa Cove, seen as prestigious waterfront living.

HSR said foreign buyers now account for about 40 per cent of its sales in prime districts.

To further tap the market, it now has a representative office in the second-tier city of Wuhan in China.

HSR hosts trips for a group of eight to 10 wealthy Chinese investors to Singapore once every two months.

Jeffery Hong, executive director, Agency, HSR International Realtors, said: “We target to do slightly more in the forth quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year. We may have exhibitions and roadshows; we may even bring prestigious local projects all the way to China to do a launch over there.”

Meanwhile, ECG Property has set up a team to link up with wealth managers to reach out to high net worth individuals in China.

Daryl Ou, executive director, ECG Property, said: “Either we will fly over there or correspond through emails, after which we will just shortlist the properties they wanted; they will usually fly over to Singapore over the weekends, that is when we will bring them around to see the properties.”

ECG said sales of high-end homes rose 5 per cent in the first half of the year, at five to six units each month.

It hopes to set up an investment office, likely in Guangzhou.

Property agents said the demand for homes from Chinese investors will hold up. That is because the yuan appreciation has strengthen their buying power, and homes in Singapore are also more affordable compared to properties in other Asian cities.

Industry data has shown that the number of buyers from China inched up slightly in recent months.

Based on caveats lodged, 190 private homes were bought by the Chinese in the second quarter, 10 units more than the first quarter.

Overall, foreigners purchased 1,036 homes in the first three months of the year, compared with 1,004 units in the second quarter. The top three groups of buyers include the Indonesians, Malaysians and Chinese.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 28 Jul 2010

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