Singapore, the million dollar question?

Published on
November 10, 2022
November 10, 2022

Singapore’s population is multiplying, currently at around 5.6M, increasingly putting pressure on the real estate market. In 2022 the population increased by 3.4% approximately and newly built private home sales increased by 82.2% in July 2020.

There's ongoing demand for new properties, which is boosting the local RE sector. We at the Proptech Connection are seeing an interesting uptick of (local) Proptechs + foreign Proptechs entering the Singaporean market The Singaporean Proptech market is expected to grow 30.1% CAGR during 2020-2025.

It’s where the millionaires at

Singapore is one of the four countries in APAC (next to China, India and Australia) that is a core market for (private) fundraising, mostly due to large percentage of wealthy residents. Singapore is expected to have Asia-Pacific’s highest share of millionaires by 2030, taking over the first place from Australia. In 2021 Singapore was second on the list.

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According to a report of HSBC Holdings Plc, it is estimated that 13.4% of the Singaporese population will "reach" millionaire status by 2030. This would be followed by Australia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Each of these four is expected to have a higher percentage of millionaires than the US by the end of this decade.

Asia is the place to be

Ever since the global financial crisis, Asia has been exceeding the US in terms of financial wealth. Since 2006, the region’s total financial wealth has (almost) tripled and is currently around $140 trillion. During that period Japan was responsible for approximately 50% of the wealth allocation.

As we all know the APAC region is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies, such as India (8.9% in 2021, 6.5% in 2022), Vietnam (2.6% in 2021 but forecasted 7.5% for 2022), and the Philippines (5.7% in 2021, 6.5% in 2022). The amount of people in these countries that hold a wealth of > $250.000, is expected to more than double in the coming years. And that will create a lot of opportunities in those nascent Proptech ecosystems.

Mainland China is expected to have around 50 million millionaires by 2030 and India could house more than six million millionaires, which works out to be about 4% of adults in mainland China, and less than 1% of adults in India. 1

Across entire Asia, the number of millionaires is set to more than double, from roughly 30 million currently to more than 76 million by the end of this decade.

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Unfortunately these countries still have a fairly high rate of poverty. According to the World Bank, more than 320 million people in Asia live under extreme poor circumstances. Hundreds of millions of people are living with less than $2.15 a day, with the majority in the agricultural sector where poverty rates are reaAccording to recent studies, 42%, or $218 trillion, of the global wealth is in the APAC region (31% in the USA and 23% in Europe). With the understanding that wealth distribution is unevenly distributed we are seeing that many of the wealthy individuals are looking to leverage their wealth to leave a legacy + invest (more and more with an ESG angle). Many of our relationships are looking for responsible investing, sustainable business practices and combine financial returns with social and environmental benefits.

ESG interest across the region is rising. Detailed examinations of transactions in the region show that people are willing to pay 18% more for a top-rated green office. At the same time valuations of non-sustainable assets keeps going south.

The reason that is holding investors back from deploying more into "ESG investments" is the lack of industry-wide benchmarks and data of the still evolving sector.5

The number of private investors considering ESG in their investment decisions has come down 5% points over the last 12 months to 60%.

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