SINGAPORE (BLOOMBERG) – The ever-present threat of government curbs to tame prices makes Singapore and Hong Kong residential property markets “unattractive”, said the regional head of UBS’ real-estate investment arm.
This bearish view on the Singapore property market appears to be in stark contrast to Morgan Stanley’s bullish stance on Singapore residential property.
“We have no exposure in the Singapore residential market and we are very comfortable not having any exposure,” Graham Mackie, head of real estate for Asia Pacific at UBS Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg. “Historically it’s been very exposed to government policy intervention and that continues.”
Instead, UBS is targeting investments in business parks and light industrial developments, he said. That’s a “deliberate strategy” which aligns with government policy to develop a more service-oriented economy, Mackie said.
Similarly, UBS has no residential investments in Hong Kong but is open to opportunities in commercial property such as offices or retail.
“Government policies have been very, very severe in Hong Kong and it’s just not a market where we see an opportunity right now,” Mackie said.
Singapore housing prices, on the other hand, have been dropping over the last 15 consecutive quarters and remains an attractive investment destination.