When you think of the Far East, you probably don’t imagine an attractive venue for real estate investments. Let’s face it, most countries there are poor, governments are mostly authoritarian and/or corrupt, and cultural barriers between us and them are sometimes too complex to bridge over. However, recently some interesting trends worth mentioning are popping up in the area.
I am Ofir Bar, and I’ve been investing in tach start-up companies and real estate, globally, since 1995, with some very successful ventures to my name in the Far East. Let’s start by defining this region. We’re talking about the Asian nations that border the Pacific Ocean, such as China, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Taiwan, and others. Most of these countries are very highly and densely populated, and this clearly affects the demand and supply of real estate assets. Let’s take a look at some trends worth considering if you’re thinking about investing in real estate there.
Better late than never, as we say. The economies of the developing nations in the Far East are waking up and getting a first taste of the green revolution. So far, we’re only talking about green residential real estate, and only in the bigger urban areas for wealthier classes, but it’s a start.
This trend had picked up even before COVID-19 entered our lives. Some urban conglomerates in these heavily populated nations, such as Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam or Surabaya in Indonesia, are home to tens of millions of people, with all the waste, emissions, and pollution that comes with them. Clearly a solution was needed to reduce the damage caused to the planet. Since this trend is relatively new, this is a good time to jump in, as prices are still low but are on the rise
A lot can be said about this island nation, lying just 100 miles off the coast of China. The conditions are not in its favor to begin with, since the powerful Chinese make a great effort at preventing contact between Taiwan and the rest of the world. However, that may have some positive outcomes for investors – especially in the real estate sector.
Under these circumstances, the Taiwanese are willing to go the extra mile for any foreign investment that can boost their economy, making investing there more attractive – especially large sums, which are more common in the real estate sector. Another key factor in Taiwan’s favor is its successful handling of the COVID-19 crisis. Being at the heart of calamity, this island nation has managed to keep an overwhelmingly low infection and mortality rate. Thus, Taiwan’s economy was able to bounce back fast while other countries are still lost in policies and theories.
Tourism real estate
While a vacation might seem like a faraway dream right now, the infrastructure for the day after COVID-19 is already being set around the world – especially in the Far East, where it seems they have managed to maintain low infection rates throughout time. Many experts predict that this area will be one of the first to reopen its gates to tourism. That’s probably why hospitality-related real estate is already being planned out and passed through necessary pipes, and opportunities are popping up all across the region.
The key here is to find the popular tourist venues of pre COVID-19 times and see how they’re doing today. In Thailand, for example, it might just be too late to start investing, since prices are already on the rise. Java, on the other hand, is not recovering fast enough. If you want to enjoy an ‘early bird’ special, I, Ofir Bar, would recommend you look at Vietnam’s resort cities (mainly along the beach) or the South Korean metro areas.
If you’re thinking long-term, and not just to buy and sell within months, you may want to consider investing in residential real estate in the far east through property management companies. This has become a popular option across Europe and has made its way to the Far East over the past few years. What they offer is for you to buy an apartment or unit, rent it out to a local tenant, and have the property manager take care of everything for a certain monthly percentage: the payment, the legal stuff, the maintenance, etc.
Before you jump in, you need to make sure you are working with a trusted firm. Do your homework and search for information on the internet. Also, make sure your desired property is located in a wealthier area, so as to avoid inability of tenants to pay rent (this is true across the world, but especially in the Far East, where the gap between poverty and richness is much more extreme).