Search for richer pickings abroad

Search for richer pickings abroad

Singapore investors are increasingly getting itchy feet and more are eyeing overseas markets in the wake of ever tougher property market curbs at home.

"We see a growing number of investors looking to invest overseas," says Jones Lang LaSalle head of residential international sales Doris Tan.

Mr Png Poh Soon, director of valuations at Knight Frank Singapore, notes that a lot of international funds are flowing into London but a limited supply of prime property means prices have climbed over the past two to three years, especially in central London.

With the weaker sterling, the exchange rate favours Singapore investors, he adds.

As appealing as a foreign property might be, not everyone can spare the hefty sums or deal with the stress.

UOB Group personal financial services director Abel Lim says: "Consumers should be aware that investing in an overseas property is vastly different from investing in a Singapore property as there are unique tax implications, foreign ownership regulations and currency risks in different countries."

And owning an investment property requires dealing with issues such as finding a tenant and maintenance, which are made tougher by the distance.

"While attractive to investors as a tangible 'hard asset', (property) comes with high transaction costs and uncertain liquidity," says Citibank Singapore wealth management head Shrikant Bhat.

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