If you read the news recently, you would have seen that Singaporeans have formed the largest group of foreign investors from Asia who are buying up foreign properties worth US$11.9 billion. Astoundingly, the city-state beat out China even though the mainland has over 250 times more people.
As you are probably aware, buying a home in Singapore still requires a large sum of upfront cash while some overseas properties require not more than one month of salary as deposit.
So why would I still say that Singapore remains an attractive destination for property investment?
Here’s what would have happened if a Singaporean had invested S$1 million into two foreign markets five years ago and sold it today.
Tokyo has good rental yields of 5.0+ percent. However, over the past five years, Japan’s currency has depreciated by 35 percent. To help illustrate, S$1 million then would be equal to S$650,000 at present. Any capital growth over this period in Japan would have to exceed 35 percent to register the slightest profit for the investor (barring round trip costs in buying and selling).
What then did the Tokyo residential market do on average over the past five years? 20 percent.
A nett loss for investors.
In the last five years the Australian dollar has weakened by 20.52 percent. This means the S$1 million invested at the time is worth S$800,000 today. Any capital growth would have to exceed 20 percent in order to register a profit for the investor. Again, barring round trip buying costs.
How did Melbourne fare over the past five years?
The housing market has grown by approximately 22 percent in the span of five years. Capital growth has been largely wiped out with the strong Sing dollar.
Using the same comparison, you can also compare with also Malaysia and many other regional property markets and currency fluctuations.
The same can be said about Iskandar Malaysia, due to its reputation as a Greater Singapore, next to one of the richest nations in the world!
In conclusion, although local properties face additional taxes, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) remains one of the world’s best, allowing the SGD to appreciate steadily in the long term over other baskets of currencies. This enables investors to preserve and grow their wealth in Singapore.