Malaysians are increasingly looking to Singapore for investment properties. This according to global property consulting firm Knight Frank. Speaking at the launch of the 12th edition of The Wealth Report in Malaysia, Knight Frank Malaysia executive director James Buckley said that besides Singapore, such investors were looking at other mature markets like UK and Australia.
The Malaysian investors were not only looking at traditional property sectors such as residential, office, retail and hotels, but are also diversifying their search for investment properties by looking into purpose built student accommodation, Mr Buckley said.
“Increasing student numbers and a structural under supply have driven rental growth and occupancy. Education is less correlated to the health of the general economy which investors are also attracted to,” added Knight Frank Malaysia executive director James Buckley.
Student accommodation offers better returns as investment properties than offices and residential housing, are recession-proof and a great diversifier in any portfolio. Singapore was the largest cross-border investor in student housing assets globally in 2016, with our sovereign wealth fund GIC partnering global student accommodation specialists to buy such investment properties in Europe, Australia and America.
Knight Frank Malaysia associate director, international project marketing Dominic Heaton-Watson said for the London market, Malaysians are targeting city fringe locations that have connectivity and linked to rail, as well as high yield assets in east London.
“Malaysians are investing in London for a few reasons. Firstly, they are looking at prime site assets that offer high yields, and secondly, it’s for diversification,” he said.
Brexit fears appear to have had little impact on investment in student accommodation in the UK with levels increasing by 17 per cent in the year 2017. According to Mr Heaton-Watson, London still ranked No 2 in the future economic performance category.
“This is due in part to the impressive growth of the creative and tech sectors as well as large-scale infrastructure investment,” he said.
According to data provided by Wealth X for The Wealth Report the number of ultra-wealthy individuals – those with US$50 million or more in net assets – increased by 10 per cent in 2017, equivalent to 11,630 individuals, taking the global population to 129,730.
Asia has overtaken Europe in absolute numbers of ultra-wealthy individuals. As at end of 2017, Asia boasted 35,880 ultra-wealthy individuals compared to 35,180 in Europe.
According to the Report Singapore is at the fifth spot on an overall global ranking as a favoured destination for property investments among the world’s ultra wealthy. In the Report’s ranking of the cities that matter most to the ultra wealthy, Singapore also took fifth spot. It was the only city in Asia which occupied the top 5 spots.