by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by BLOOMBERG
Malaysians remain consistent foreign investors in Singapore’s luxury property market amid the ringgit depreciation against Singaporean currency over the years.
GuocoLand Singapore Pte Ltd MD Cheng Hsing Yao said currency fluctuation would not have much impact on foreign investors in the country.
“The global currency fluctuation does not put much impact on our property market, particularly on the high-end development, as most of the buyers already have assets parked in the country.
“Due to the proximity, most of Malaysians who have bought properties here hold a permanent resident status or earning a stable Singapore dollar income,” he said at a media briefing in Singapore recently. According to the company’s recent sales of luxury mixed developments, Malaysians have occupied a significant number of units in the residential segment.
“The strong interest is still visible from Malaysian. For example, 20% of the 44 units sold for Wallich Residence, which is the residential segment of Tanjong Pagar Centre, are Malaysians.
“Also, 25% of the total units in another of our residential project, Martin Modern, were bought by Malaysians,” he explained.
Cheng said the property scene in Singapore is heavily regulated by the government, which allows for a controlled market condition and supply and demand.
“It’s a controlled market for the property segment here. We had an en bloc measure, implemented by the government in the past years, that caused higher land price and it has created a stiff competition for developers.
“But, the controlled nature has created a stable market condition and instilled confidence in foreign investment,” he said.
In April 2017, the Singapore dollar hit its record high against the ringgit at RM3.18.
According to Singapore Urban Redevelopment Authority’s data, Malaysians have been steadily investing in the country’s properties, making up to 20% of foreign buyers in the market.
The data, which measures the percentage of countries in Singapore’s foreign buying, showed that Malaysian buyers have marginally increased since 2006 and moved at a steady rate.
It added that the percentage of Malaysians buying peaked in 2014 at 28% and was at its lowest in 2007 with 13%.
GuocoLand Singapore is a subsidiary of GuocoLand Group, the property arm of the of Hong Leong Group with geographical markets of Singapore, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.
GuocoLand Ltd is a listed entity on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Ltd. Its revenue grew 5% to S$1.11 billion (RM3.26 billion) on the back of higher sales and progressive revenue recognition from its residential projects in Singapore.
As at June 30, 2017, the group’s total assets are worth S$8.96 billion.