Real estate investors look to Southeast Asia
By Kuan-lin Liu, The China Post
January 11, 2017, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Facing a low-performing local real estate market, Taiwanese investors are reportedly putting their money abroad in up-and-coming development properties throughout Southeast Asia.
Two large international real estate firms hosted separate press conferences on Tuesday to analyze the latest trend in real estate purchases.
According to Executive Director David Chin (泰啟松) of Asia Pacific International Property, the firm, which specializes in real estate transactions in the Asia-Pacific region, made nearly NT$7.3 billion in sales.
Furthermore, while property transactions were at a record low in Taiwan in 2016, according to an end-of-year report from Chinatrust Real Estate company, the number of transactions Chin's firm closed in the nearby ASEAN countries rose by 43 percent compared to 2015.
The amount investors was willing to put in real estate, however, averaged around NT$5.3 million and was lower than in 2015, the firm reported.
Deputy General-Manager Paul Lee (李維鑫) from Century 21's Ren Ai branch (仁愛) said that its merger with Blue Ocean Realty Group "has allowed the branch to capitalize on investment opportunities in Thailand."
With nearly two years of investments in Thailand, the Ren Ai branch now has its sales split 50-50 between local transactions and Thai transactions, Lee told reporters.
The Ren Ai branch grossed the second-highest revenue among the 238 branches of Century 21 last year, which Lee attributed to the sales of mansions in the Ren Ai area and investments in Thailand.
Investment Hotspots in the Asia-Pacific
In step with the government's "New Southbound Policy," Blue Ocean Realty Group announced an investment opportunity in Bangkok.
The Harbor View Residence, a large-scale hotel that is currently in development, is the realty group's "opportunity to help Taiwanese nationals fulfill their (investment) dreams abroad," CEO Rich Lee (李進輪) of Blue Ocean remarked.
Rich Lee based his claim that this would be a good investment on the facts that Bangkok was the top tourist destination over London last year. Furthermore, its hotels saw increased occupancy rates of 76 percent.
Construction of the hotel was reported to be at 90 percent, with the exterior of the building expected to be done by next month. Rich Lee told reporters that the interior decoration of the hotel would take two years, thereby presenting a six-year investment opportunity for nationals.
"The investment has no risk," Rich Lee said, adding that investors would make a 6 percent annual return from the investment and could sell the investment back to the realty group at its original price in six years.
The International Monetary Group pointed out other Southeast Asian countries as real estate investment hotspots. In particular, the IMF tapped the Philippines, whose 2017 economic growth was expected to reach 6.7 percent, as a market bustling with investment potential.
Other countries that are ripe for real estate investment include Cambodia and Malaysia, representatives of Asia Pacific International Property told The China Post.