On the 26th May 2020, an article written by Bloomberg and published by the Straits Times noted that “Rich Chinese Investors are finding luxury real estate is a good hiding place from the economic fallout of the coronavirus”. Across China and in some of their familiar hunting grounds in Asia, wealthy buyers are snapping up top-end housing to guard their wealth against inflation and a weakening Yuan. The rush to purchase real estate had led to a jump in upmarket housing prices in China, while offering some support for Asian property markets hit hard by the pandemic. A gradual easing of virus restrictions is making it easier for wealthy Chinese to view properties and complete purchases in nearby Asian hot spots like Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney. This is congruent to our local market where virtual tours and photos have been enough to seal multi-million deals, pointing to how transactions are evolving. Even in Singapore, where a partial remains in place, activity is picking up via online platforms. Three Chinese clients (one of the clients transacted through our team) bought 6 apartments worth a combined $20 million at Marina One Residences.
Hong Kong used to be a favoured destination due to its proximity to mainland China and fewer market restrictions. But the pro-democracy protests have prompted many rich Chinese to turn to Singapore as an alternative, undeterred by the higher taxes. This is evident from the decline in Hong Kong luxury home prices dropped 4.5% in the first quarter, double the decline in Singapore. This article did not come as a surprise for me as our team at JNA Real Estate has transacted a total of 24 properties throughout this entire Covid-19 season. There were constant fears amongst our clients that the looming recession may lead to a dip or even our property market crashing. However, when we draw a corollary to the times when the market is stricken by a pandemic such as SARS from Nov 2002-July 2003 as well as H1N1 from Jan 2009-Feb 2010, we see that such crisis may be a good opportunity to enter the market. I have covered in my previous webinars on the main factors to look at when selecting the right development as well as the right unit and these are pertinent factors to look at when selecting the right investment unit. It is true that there are opportunities in the market and some are great investment assets that one can consider. However, wisdom and discernment are important when identifying the right investment.
A situation like Covid may be once in a decade opportunity to find the right investment and we have been scouring the market for our clients to look for opportunities to leverage on to make money. If any of you reading this article is interested in such opportunities do pm me and I can do a detailed analysis and curate a real estate portfolio restructuring plan that is specific to your circumstance.
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