Iskandar Malaysia most popular overseas option for Singaporeans
By Danny Bance

Iskandar Malaysia most popular overseas option for Singaporeans

As affordability in Singapore plummets, residents are looking overseas for investment options. Iskandar Malaysia continues to be the most popular option for buyers, with 59 per cent of respondents surveyed by iProperty Group claiming they have considered investing in the region. Of these, 76 per cent view real estate in Iskandar Malaysia as investment property, the Asia Property Market Sentiment report revealed.

Overseas property investment is more in reach of Singaporeans than ever, thanks to their comparatively strong currency. In 2012, 38 per cent of respondents claimed they were considering overseas investment but this has increased this year to 40 per cent. There are, however, barriers for Singaporeans looking overseas. The Total Debt Servicing Ratio means it future it may be difficult for buyers looking to finance their property dreams through local banks.

Nevertheless, demand is strong for international real estate investment. Interestingly, there has been some shifts in the top five countries being targeted for this. While Iskandar Malaysia remains an attractive spot, Malaysia overall is declining. Australia, Thailand and the Philippines are on the up among Singaporean investors. However, Malaysian property still tops the leaderboard.

"Iskandar Malaysia is the 500-pound gorilla of overseas investment," iProperty said in its report. Some 59 per cent of respondents have considered buying property there. "Sixty-six per cent view investments in Iskandar as long-term, preferring Nusajaya (49 per cent), over Johor Bahru (37 per cent)."

"Interest and confidence in Iskandar continues to strengthen, with 94 per cent viewing CapitaLand’s & Temasek Holdings’ investments in Iskandar Malaysia as positive. While interest is high, concerns, notably regarding safety and security, are also high," the report explained. Of those surveyed, 75 per cent consider crime and safety as an area for improvement. Infrastructure is a concern for ten per cent of respondents.

There is little change when it comes to the budget of investors, with 22 per cent of Singaporeans allocating less than SGD 500,000 (£.250,057 approximately). Budgets of between SGD 1 million and SGD 1.5 million will only be adopted by 16 per cent of buyers.
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