While the Covid-19 pandemic has tempered overseas trips, it has not deterred investors from hunting for overseas assets. Enriched by the recent stock market boom, they have sought long-term foreign residencies through passport-for-cash schemes, or diversified their investment basket into less volatile markets.
The flow of Chinese capital has been swayed by ongoing political tensions between China and some of its biggest trade partners. Relations with the US and Australia are souring due to sanctions and export bans, prompting mainland investors to look at Singapore and elsewhere to park their wealth. “In recent years there has been a consistent desire from PRC investors to diversify outside China to complement their domestic investments,” said Oliver Watt, a director at Savills’ London-based cross-border investment team. “We see notable pent-up demand.”
Last quarter, their purchases of non-landed homes more than doubled to 271 from the previous quarter, according to data compiled by OrangeTee & Tie, based on statistics from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. “To many Chinese investors, properties in Singapore are highly attractive and many see the merits of staying or investing in Singapore especially given the positive capital appreciation of many properties here,” said Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie.
The losers appear to be markets in the US, UK, Australia and Japan, as Chinese investors shunned them to steer clear of unsettling geopolitical risks and the number of Covid-19 cases. Deals involving these four spots have dwindled over the past two years and are likely to remain depressed in the near term, property consultants said.