REA Group releases new data on foreign buyer preferences

As it completes its acquisition of leading Asian property site iProperty, REA Group has released new findings on the market preferences of foreign investors.

The new data found that Australia continues to be the first choice for south-east Asian property buyers.

The data, obtained from the recent iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey for the second half of 2015, revealed that Australia is the first choice for Singaporean and Malaysian international property buyers, while Indonesians list it second after Singapore, and Hong Kong residents list it third after mainland China and Japan.

REA Group noted that data from the Foreign Review Investment Board supports these findings.

“In their FY14 Annual Report, it was revealed that Malaysia and Singapore were the fourth and fifth largest source countries for approved Australian property investment, after China, the US and Canada. Hong Kong is also among the top 10 countries at number eight,” the group noted.

Georg Chmiel, CEO of the iProperty Group, said that there were a range of factors driving interest in the Australian property market.

“The main reason Singaporeans and Malaysians are interested to invest in properties in Australia more than any other country is their perception that it is a very good investment compared to other countries,” Mr Chmiel said.

He pointed to the survey findings, which also revealed that private condominiums or serviced apartments, followed by terraced houses, are the most sought-after property types in Australia from these buyers.

The data comes as REA Group, parent company of realestate.com.au, completes its acquisition of iProperty Group.

Arthur Charlaftis, REA Group’s chief operating officer – international and developer, said the Australian property market had long-held appeal for investors across south-east Asia.

“We’re really excited to join with the iProperty Group and forge stronger links between investors in the south-east Asian region and Australian real estate owners and developers,” Mr Charlaftis said.

“There is a lot of attention on Chinese property investors, however, buyers from Singapore have had a long-held interest in Australia and were our largest international investors in the mid-1990s. These buyers are actively seeking Australian property and are ready to purchase,” he said.

Mr Charlaftis said iProperty Group’s local market expertise is “second to none” and REA Group will be working closely with the Asian property group to tap into the needs of buyers throughout the region and deliver even more value to its customers.

Property investment approvals for buyers from Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong totalled more than $7 billion in the 2014 financial year, according to REA Group.

According to iProperty Group’s research, the majority of Singaporeans plan to spend between US$1.09 million and US$1.51 million, while the median price point for Malaysians is AUD$168,660 and AUD$269,855 on properties in Australia.

[Related: REA closes in on $578m takeover]

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