Renewed activity observed across global residential markets: Savills

By Charlene Chin / EdgeProp Singapore | June 29, 2020 5:19 PM SGT
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SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - A sentiment survey by Savills has revealed that clients worldwide are still looking for new properties.
The results are based on a survey of 41 experts across Savills’ global residential network, held from May 27 to June 2.
According to Savills, 78% of respondents said that most or almost all of the buyers in the areas they cover are still looking for a new property. Meanwhile, the majority of vendors across over 90% of markets surveyed are still planning to sell their properties.
There is a disparity in price expectations, however. Of the respondents, 78% stated that buyers are expecting to see lower prices than before lockdown. Conversely, 78% of vendors are anticipating pricing to remain the same.
Price expectations differ based on locations. Respondents in urban markets, such as Bangkok, Sydney and Prague, reported expectations of lower pricing from both buyers and sellers. Meanwhile, resort and second-home locations, such as the Algarve and the French Riviera, reported that both buyers and vendors expect prices to remain the same.
Despite the pandemic and the prospect of a recession, 33% of the respondents reported the same number of new buyers post-lockdown compared to the same time last year.
Some markets have also begun to see more activity: 10% of respondents reported that since lockdowns were lifted, there have been more new applicants as compared to the same time last year, particularly in second-home and resort locations.
The general sentiment from respondents reveals that things are looking positive, although the market has yet to recover fully. Respondents in China, which has been out of lockdown for the longest, stated that the market took two to three months to recover. However, many survey respondents remain unsure, saying that it is too early in the recovery to make any comparisons, either because flights for international buyers are still not allowed, or because potential buyers are still waiting to view properties in person.
As activity resumes in property markets globally, changes to the way people live and work during lockdown are already affecting buyer preferences. Respondents in 33% of the markets reported increased interest from buyers looking to upsize from their main residence.
Increased interest in upsizing their properties across urban centres such as Sydney, Rome, and Monaco could potentially be due to residents enduring their respective lockdown periods in smaller spaces, says Savills.
The number of buyers looking for investment properties could potentially dip in 2020. So far, 30% of markets reported a fall in buyers looking at investment properties compared to 2019.
Commenting on the future landscape of Singapore’s real estate, Alan Cheong, head of research & consultancy at Savills Singapore, says: “For institutional investors, their focus is on logistics, data centres and offices. While some are concerned about the retreating demand from flexible work space operators, others are looking beyond the demand side and factoring significant construction delays caused by the pandemic into their analysis. These delays may more than shore up rents that are pressured down by weak business conditions.”
Once travel restrictions into Singapore are eased, Cheong expects ultra high-net-worth Chinese buyers to snap up properties in the city-state.
The markets covered in the survey include Antigua, Austria, Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Cayman Islands, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, England, France, Gibraltar, Italy, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, The Turks and Caicos Islands, and the United Arab Emirates.
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