Singaporeans eye overseas property purchases amidst high costs back home: survey

Foreign properties could be used as retirement homes.

Four in five or 83.3% of Singaporeans would consider investing in real estate overseas if they had the money and had all the necessary resources due to the rising prices of local residential properties, according to findings from WorldFirst’s market study.

Better growth and yield potential, coupled with the possibility of having a home for retirement, were also cited as important factors for the Singaporeans surveyed by WorldFirst. The report found that these Singapore respondents were in the age range of mid 20s to early 30s, were unmarried and of the average income group. Males were also found to be more likely to invest than females.

The survey was completed by over 400 Singaporeans and studies behaviours concerning real-estate investments, wedding planning, medical tourism and travel habits.

“Singaporeans are most interested in investing in a property they can rent out now and retire in (37.5%), followed by overseas holiday rentals and diversified property funds at 20.5% and 20.3%, respectively,” the firm said in a statement.

With regards to weddings, almost all of the respondents or 90% expressed that they found local weddings to be expensive with more than half thinking it would be cheaper to have an overseas wedding. Singaporeans surveyed cited that accommodation, venue, catering and staffing would cost less overseas.

“Language barriers and cultural challenges are the least of their worries,” WorldFirst added. The only challenge to them would be the logistics of getting friends and family to the wedding.

Meanwhile, 2 in 5 Singaporeans would also rather go overseas for cosmetic surgeries than in Singapore due to lower medical costs abroad provided they had done their research and felt confident about the medical team involved. Dental (36.3%), cancer (26.3%), eye (20.8%) and vital organ surgeries (20%) were other areas Singaporeans would consider going overseas for.

In addition, a majority of Singaporeans would not change their travel plans even when the Singapore dollar is low against the currency of the country they are planning to travel to, with only 17% citing they would delay such plans until the currency improved.

“Few Singaporeans think about overseas exchange rates and money transfer fees when engaging in overseas real-estate investments, overseas weddings or medical tourism,” WorldFirst said in a statement.