Singapore toppled by China in the real estate market in Malaysia

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KUALA LUMPUR – China is the biggest investor in the Malaysian real estate market, the Financial Times reported on Monday. Amid recent wave of Chinese emigration the Chinese investment reached over US$2.1 billion (S$2.9 billion) in Malaysian real estate over the past three years, compared to US$985 million invested by Singaporean companies from 2014 to 2016, citing Real Capital Analytics figures based on completed transactions of US$10 million and above.

“The Chinese investor today has a lot more options and has become more comfortable going to Europe and the US, but not everyone has the same options — Malaysia is much more affordable,” Ms Sigrid Zialcita, managing director of Asia-Pacific research at American real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, was quoted saying.

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“If you compare prices, even between Malaysia and China, you are looking at a significant difference,” she added.

Financial Times noted that China has increased its investment in Malaysian real estate at a time when closer political ties between Putrajaya and Beijing have smoothened commercial relations.

The Forest City project in Johor by Chinese developer Country Garden is reportedly one of the best-known overseas properties among mainland Chinese residents, but Beijing’s clampdown on capital outflows may have forced the developer to close down all its showrooms in China earlier this month.

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported recently that almost 8,000 Chinese nationals emigrated to Malaysia from 2002 to 2016 under the Malaysia My Second Home programme, comprising about a quarter of almost 32,000 foreigners who were granted residency under the foreign residency scheme.

The paper dubbed it the “third wave” of Chinese migration to Malaysia.


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