HK investors pour $1.9b into S’pore real estate in first half of 2019
Hong Kong investors pumped a total of US$1.4 billion (S$1.94 billion) into Singapore's real estate in the first half of the year, Cushman & Wakefield Research said in its latest report on Greater China outbound investments released yesterday.
This is more than a quarter of the US$5.2 billion in total outbound real estate investment from Hong Kong during the period, making Singapore the top destination, the report said.
Ms Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and South-east Asia at Cushman & Wakefield, said that some Hong Kong investors have been active here for a while, but the political situation in Hong Kong has coincided with more high-net-worth individuals and family offices from Hong Kong inquiring on potential purchases.
Key transactions in Singapore in the year to date included Hong Kong private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners' (GCP) $710 million purchase of the Robinson 77 office building in February.
GCP also led a consortium, which included insurer Allianz, to buy the Duo office and retail space for $1.575 billion, the seller confirmed in July.
This month, fund manager Arch Capital Management completed the purchase of the Anson House office building for $210 million.
Mr James Shepherd, head of research for Asia-Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield, said: "Singapore may increasingly be viewed as a comparatively safe haven given the challenges that some other global destinations are facing."
There is also increasing interest in Singapore retail properties by Hong Kong investors, with the recent $520 million acquisition of Chinatown Point Mall by Pan Asia Realty Advisors, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Estate and Hong Kong-headquartered CLSA Capital.
Meanwhile, Chinese buyers are also eyeing Singapore's commercial assets, the report said.
For instance, The Place Holdings bought Realty Centre for $148 million in a commercial collective sale in April.
The second most popular destination for Hong Kong investors was the United States with almost US$1.2 billion deployed in H1, followed by the United Kingdom at around US$900 million and Japan with about US$850 million.