SINGAPORE - Despite global economic headwinds and a weaker property climate, there remains keen interest in property investment, particularly for overseas properties.
This is evident from the overwhelming turnout on the opening day of SPH Digital's Property Seminar and Showcase 2016.
Over 500 people had bought tickets for the first day of the event, which is being held at the SPH auditorium.
Also taking place simultaneously is a property showcase by various developers, including Leisure Farm Corporation Sdn Bhd, E&O Property (Penang) Sdn Bhd, Horizon Hills Development Sdn Bhd, Mah Sing Group Berhad, Cypress Potential Sdn Bhd, Hatten Group Sdn Bhd from Malaysia and Megaworld from the Philippines.
Even before lunchtime of day one, a keen investor had already completed a purchase from one of the exhibiting developers from Malaysia, Tanah Sutera Development Sdn Bhd.
Mr Winston Woon, 55, of REA Realty Network Pte Ltd told AsiaOne that the response on the first day of the event was very encouraging. He was at the showcase promoting Johor Bahru development Horizon Hills, and explained that they were registering people for a site visit to see the residential and retail properties on offer in the township next Friday.
He said the declining ringgit made properties across the Causeway a more attractive proposition for Singaporeans, especially as property prices there are stabilising following concerns of an oversupply.
"But I think Singaporeans are still concerned with the uncertain global economic and financial conditions, as well as the higher interest rates in Malaysia," he explained.
Mr Ng Phing Keen, 29, who works in insurance, said that he had come for the Property Seminar and Showcase to gain an insight into property forecasts and trends.
He said that he was not planning to invest in a property overseas immediately, but his interest had been especially piqued by some of developments in Melaka.
Another visitor to the showcase was engineer Samuel Lee. The 27-year-old told AsiaOne that he would consider investing in a property overseas if the right opportunity arose, particularly as properties remained quite expensive in Singapore.
Mr Lee, who was at the event with his wife, added: "You also get a lot more space when buying a property in Malaysia, for example, so that's another consideration and makes a change from the dense and clustered developments you get in Singapore."
Ms Tan Su-Lin, Deputy Head, of the SPH Digital Division said: "We are very pleased with the overwhelming turnout for our first property event in 2016. This is an encouraging sign that Singaporeans are still keen on property as an investment option despite the gloomy economy and rising interest rates."
The first day of the Property Seminar and Showcase also featured talks on the global residential property outlook by the Asia Pacific Head of Research for Knight Frank Singapore, Nicholas Holt; the next stage for Iskandar Malaysia and Malacca by Ishmael Ho, CEO of Ho Chin Soon Sdn Bhd; tips on how to avoid the pitfalls of property investment in 2016 by the head of valuations for SRX Property, Andrew Chee; and the impact of the Fed rate hike on interest rates by the CEO of SingCapital, Alfred Chia.
The two-day seminar will continue tomorrow (Jan 24). Dr Teoh Poh Huat, Director of Henry Butcher Malaysia Penang, will give the latest updates on the Penang real estate market, while Dato' Eric Cheng, CEO of ECG Group of Companies, will round up the seminar with what people need to know about investing in overseas property. The other two speakers at the event include Dr Daniele Gambero, CEO and co-founder of REI Group of Companies, and Jeremy Lee, Co-Founder of SRX Property.
Although spaces for the seminars have been fully sold out, members of the public can still visit the developers' showcase at SPH, from 10am to 5pm.