The latest survey carried out by the BNZ through the real estate industry into the proportion of sales being made to overseas buyers shines a powerful light on Australians as the number one overseas buyer group. The survey found that Australians are the biggest single group of overseas buyers with 22% of all property purchases by foreigners. Chinese are second at 20% and British at 13%.
However there is further insight to be gained on this subject from within Asia through the real estate websites in the region who carry out their own surveys.
One such website group is PropertyGuru which is Asia’s leading online property group and operates in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. The company undertakes regular property sentiment surveys, the most recent of which is the Property Affordability Index for Q2 2013 which provides a benchmark for property affordability in PropertyGuru’s four key markets. The survey takes into account survey measurements for overall satisfaction, future price perceptions and intention to purchase property as well as perceived government effort. The survey also identifies interest in overseas investment sentiment based on the 1,282 respondents to the survey who indicated intention to purchase overseas properties in the next six months. This interest is especially strong for Australian properties amidst growing concern over expensive domestic property prices in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. The survey also includes questions in regard to New Zealand property investing.
The trend to invest in NZ is not as strong as that of investing in Australia, but there is still demand especially from Malaysia and Singapore. Out of all respondents from Malaysia and Singapore who are looking overseas to invest, 1 in 5 have indicated that they are looking to NZ.
In terms of ranking, Singaporeans rank NZ in 5th place after the perennially favourite markets of UK and Australia and the recently booming property markets of Thailand and Malaysia.
In the case of Malaysia, NZ was placed fourth after Australia, UK and the neighbouring Singapore.
For Thailand and Indonesia investors are far more focused on investing within the South-East Asia region before considering NZ or Australia.
The commentary to the report indicated that demand for overseas investing is also driven largely by growing dissatisfaction about real estate in each of the local markets. In particular, 3 out of 4 respondents have highlighted overpriced properties and an expectation of further property price increases as the main reason that fuels interest in overseas investments. The exception is in Singapore, where despite prices for all property types are seen as costly, 40% of Singaporeans do not anticipate a further increase within the next 6 months as a result of the introduction of government policies on property in the country in Jan 2013.
Steve Melhuish, CEO of PropertyGuru Group “As South-East Asia becoming more affluent, increased property buying, selling and investing will inevitably drive property prices up and creates a ripple effect where investors will set their sights beyond their borders for cheaper alternatives”
PropertyGuru developed and started tracking the Property Affordability Index in 2010. In collaboration with Added Value-Saffron Hill, a Singapore based independent professional research agency, the quarterly survey aims to provide insights into the local property market through the consumers’ perspective and shed light into how property trends affect their property decisions over time. These perspectives are based on a representative sample of 4,062 online respondents aged 21-69 across Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand who are influencers or decision makers on property.