Aussie $ power – Where to invest with the rise of the Australian dollar

Balinese villa, Canggu, Bali

Balinese villa, Canggu, Bali

In one of my previous articles entitled 2011 – Investment strategies for a year of consolidation, I suggested that property investors should also consider investing beyond our shores to capitalise due to the recent strength of the Australian dollar (currently trading at US1.0113).

Through my research, I have found that Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia offer some good bargains where yields are considerably higher than in Australia because real estate prices are “relatively cheaper” in these countries.  The immediate concerns for most investors would be:

  • How do I decide on the location?
  • How do I find a good property manager?
  • What are the tax and ownership implications / restrictions if any for these countries?
  • How do I get financing?
  • How do I find a good real estate agent and solicitor?
  • What if I can’t find good tenants and what if the tenants trash my property?

The key is to do solid due diligence and research on locations which have good growth history, good infrastructure, public amenities, stable political environment, strong growth prospects as evidenced by its surrounding areas. Building a network of strong local contacts such as real estate agents, solicitors and conveyancers, business people and local residents will assist in the event local assistance is required.

Bali, Indonesia

Popular tourist locations such as Kuta, Nusa Dua, Seminyak, Ubud and Jimbaran have taken off in recent years. Bali has recently reported its strongest growth and highest tourist arrivals since the Bali bombings nearly a decade ago.

Bali Governor Made Mangku Pastika last month took the unprecedented step of banning new hotel development in the island’s three busiest areas, including the beach strips of Kuta and Sanur, the exclusive beachfront resort district of Nusa Dua and the rice-terraced hills around Ubud.

Areas which have yet to experience a strong take off but are popular among tourists include Tanah Lot, Canggu (10 km north of Seminyak in the south west coast and Candi Dasa in the east coast.

Alila Manggis resort, Candi Dasa, Bali

Alila Manggis resort, Candi Dasa, Bali

Prices range from A$200,000 for smaller villas up to A$1 million and above for larger and more luxurious homes in popular areas. Real estate prices in Bali are quoted in US dollars by local real estate agents.

Penang & Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Penang is a approximately three and a half hour’s leisurely drive north of Kuala Lumpur. The island state is known for its holiday resorts along its north eastern coastline of Batu Ferringhi and tasty local fare and bargain shopping. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of new condominiums and apartments dotted all along the Batu Ferringhi drive which overlooks the sea with uninterrupted views of the Straits of Malacca. New apartments and condominiums along this popular stretch range from A$200,000 to A$1 million and above for luxury penthouses with ocean views.

Western view from Mutiara  Upper East

Western view from Mutiara Upper East

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and real estate prices in the city has experienced a sharp upturn over the last 2 years and some popular areas in the city such as Kota Damansara, Mount Kiara, Damansara Heights, Ampang Hilir and selected areas around the CBD have appreciated by as much as 30%.

Mutiara Upper East, Ampang Hilir

Mutiara Upper East apartments, Kuala Lumpur

Mutiara Upper East is a development located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur which enjoys a sought-after address in Ampang Hilir. The development consists of two high-rise towers with a total of about 200 luxury apartments. Each apartment in the development enjoys private lift entry directly into the apartments some of which have two separate kitchens (dry and wet kitchen), servants’ quarters and views over the Selangor Polo and Riding Club. A new freeway links this area directly into the heart of the city which is merely 4 km away. Prices for apartments in this development start from A$300,000 up to A$900,000 for penthouses with views of the city.

High-end apartments within a radius of 3km of the CBD cost A$1 million upwards with spectacular views of the Kuala Lumpur skyline.


Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

Singapore experienced the highest GDP growth in the world in 2010 where its economy grew by a whopping 14.7%. It has an efficient government machinery that encourages foreign investment whilst the government itself is also a strong investor overseas whereby it owns high growth real estate, financial assets as well as IT & telecommunication investments.

The recently completed Marina Bay Sands is a symbol of its success in attracting foreign investment, perpetuating its status as one of the busiest and most efficient seaports in the world.

Far East Organisation is by far one of the leading property developers in Singapore having developed more than 700 projects over the last 50 years. New apartments and condominiums currently on the market in Singapore include the following:

1. Adria at Novena

2. The Cascadia at Bukit Timah

3. The Tennery, Bukit Panjang

4. The Orange Grove, Stevens Road

5. Twin Peaks, Leonie Hill Road

Central and Latin America

Costa Rica beaches

Beach in Costa Rica

International Living is a publishing group which advocates the idyllic notion that one can live a healthy, low-cost and stress-free lifestyle and retire to unspoiled seaside locations, emerging cities  around the world where fewer people know about. Some interesting articles written by its writers based all over the world include the following:

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