Alex Shlaen on Key Actual Property Markets and Cash Flows

Feb 02, 2023 | By Alexander Okay. Shlaen

Originally of a brand new yr, we need to know the place to place our cash and what to anticipate from the markets. Let me lay out a few of my expectations and observations as we hop into the 12 months of the Rabbit. 

Final yr was a tricky yr for traders, except you have been invested within the Singapore property market, which continues to be going robust into 2023. However I’ll return to discussing property later on this article. 

In 2022, there was loads of trough throughout the monetary and property markets everywhere in the world. There have been only a few vivid spots. However that you realize already. Now, let’s attempt to look into the long run and predict the place is an effective place to park your dough this hopping yr of the bunny.

In line with Professor Roubini of Stern Enterprise College of New York College (NYU), traders should discover secure belongings that may hedge them in opposition to inflation, geopolitical dangers and different market disruptors. Such belongings embrace short-term authorities bonds and inflation-indexed bonds, gold and different valuable metals, and actual property that’s resilient to environmental injury.

Certainly, but once more, property funding is not only finished for the extra apparent benefits, akin to rental returns and appreciation, however on this new world of comparatively excessive inflation, the property, which is purchased in the proper locations, is an effective hedge in opposition to inflation.

As an investor, I’m all the time trying for funding targets that may develop in recognition and can appeal to extra traders, making these investments extra useful.

I current to you the next information:

In line with Financial institution of America’s annual Research of Rich Individuals launched just lately, which included interviews with over 1,000 Individuals aged 21 and older with investable belongings of over US$3 million. The interviews have been carried out in Could and June of 2022.

  • 75 per cent of wealthy millennials don’t assume the inventory market can generate the returns they’re in search of
  • The report discovered that 75 per cent of these surveyed aged 21 to 42 felt it was “not doable to realize above-average returns solely on conventional shares and bonds.”
  • Solely 32 per cent of older traders agreed with that assertion
  • Youthful traders are flocking to cryptocurrency, personal fairness, actual property, and even artwork

The rich millennials surveyed stated they allocate 25 per cent of their portfolios to shares, in comparison with 55 per cent of older traders. And so they dedicate over 3 times as a lot of their portfolios, 16 per cent versus 5 per cent, to various investments like personal fairness, commodities, actual property, and even artwork. Cryptocurrency is widespread amongst these millennials as effectively, accounting for 15 per cent of their portfolios in comparison with solely 2 per cent for older traders.

My takeaway is that finally, the general share of investments of this age group will develop as older traders money out or exit energetic investing. 

For millennials, one in all their favorite funding targets is property, and therefore I discover it fascinating. One would assume that younger traders wouldn’t care a lot about essentially the most conventional kind of funding, however that seems to be the alternative. The youthful traders prioritise property and various investments over shares and bonds. Subsequently I see the way forward for property investing to proceed rising or a minimum of staying on stable floor, pun meant.

As all the time in my articles, I’ll focus on property and luxurious investing.

So, what’s the property market holding for us this yr?

In line with 100 or so housing market analysts polled by Reuters, housing costs in most main property markets will fall in 2023, however they predicted double-digit peak-to-trough declines is not going to come shut to creating property inexpensive. The reason being that residential property costs within the US, Britain, Canada, Germany, Australia, and New Zealand rose between 25 per cent and greater than 50 per cent because the outbreak of the pandemic in early 2020.


Lion Metropolis’s property is now a well-established darling of traders. Whoever learn and adopted my recommendation on the pages of this journal for the final a number of years needs to be in a reasonably place. The costs went up round 11 per cent within the final yr and about the identical in 2021.

Singapore’s personal leases surged by 30 per cent in 2022. It’s the highest annual enhance since 2007, when the rental costs shot up over 41 per cent. The rental costs are anticipated to rise at a slower charge of round 15 per cent subsequent yr, about half the earlier yr’s charge, on account of a rise in provide.

As any investor is aware of, if the rental returns go up so does the property worth. Conservatively talking, I can see the rise in worth reaching 4 per cent to six per cent throughout 2023.

The value enhance may be steeper for brand spanking new luxurious properties.

We’re seeing a wave of high-net-worth and ultra-high internet value mainland Chinese language residents who have been impacted by the extended Covid-19 closures in mainland China and in Hong Kong relocating to Singapore. Whereas we nonetheless do not need the figures, I’m predicting a big variety of rich and ultra-rich Chinese language residents to maneuver their cash, households, and residence and additional increase the demand and thus the costs for higher-end properties. 

Add to this the large enhance in variety of household places of work being established or moved to Singapore, and you’ll see a transparent pattern of the rising demand for high-end property. With these places of work comes an influx of wealth, because the house owners and the relations of those places of work transfer to Singapore.

The resale rental costs have been up round 10 per cent for 2022. The hole between new and resale property is means too massive for my part and there’s a nice alternative within the secondary market.

The info I see for the outlying districts exhibits for instance, the median value of a newly launched rental unit was over S$2,000 per sq ft (psf), which is considerably increased than the worth of the resale rental of round S$1,300.

For the savvy traders, I like to recommend resale luxurious condos within the prime areas of Singapore, that are very undervalued.


Credit score Researchers of Goldman Sachs predict the US property market to drop. Prime areas like San Francisco are anticipated to fall some 13 per cent. Principally they anticipate all the foremost cities to drop, aside from Miami. With nationwide costs anticipated to drop round 10 per cent.

Right here is an effective place to spotlight and clarify an uncommon and attention-grabbing pattern within the present recession.
This recession may be hitting the upper paid employees, particularly those within the high-tech sector and largely skipping the lower-end and blue-collar employees.

Current layoffs clearly present this pattern. In line with the US Securities filings, the median employee at Fb made round US$296,000 in 2021. The median employee at Twitter made US$233,000. A lot of the newest layoffs at these locations and different tech giants akin to Microsoft and Google have largely been geared toward white-collar employees.

So the excessive paid employees in high-tech are fired en masse and that explains why properties in locations akin to San Francisco and different prime areas within the Silicon Valley, as effectively in London and to some extent in Tel Aviv will undergo or will falter, a minimum of within the quick time period. 

Hong Kong

Hong Kong mortgage functions from mainland Chinese language consumers rose to a file excessive within the fourth quarter of 2022. 

Mainland consumers with Hong Kong residency represented 11.4 per cent of the mortgage functions that mReferral Mortgage Brokerage Companies dealt with, the very best proportion because the agency began monitoring the info in 2018.

Immigration curiosity from mainland Chinese language residents has spiked following the nation’s stringent lockdowns and considerations of a subsequent financial slowdown. Hong Kong stands as one of many prime relocation locations, particularly after the town’s authorities launched a programme to draw overseas expertise to reverse a mind drain following political upheavals and social unrest. Although among the newcomers to Singapore are these mainland Chinese language, who received disillusioned with Hong Kong’s epidemic strict insurance policies.

Hong Kong’s authorities’s effort to draw extra expertise from the mainland and the remainder of the world may additionally assist elevate the town’s rental market. Residential leases may rebound about 5 per cent in 2023 as extra folks relocate to Hong Kong, in keeping with Bloomberg Intelligence.

Resale dwelling values declined about 16 per cent final yr, with mixed new and secondary dwelling gross sales slumping to the bottom stage since a minimum of 1996, in keeping with information tracked by Centaline Property Company. The border between the mainland and Hong Kong began to regularly reopen ranging from 8 January after being successfully sealed since early 2020 as each governments pursued a Covid Zero coverage by shutting themselves from the remainder of the world for a lot of the pandemic.

The view of Bloomberg Intelligence is that gross sales of latest residential initiatives within the metropolis may bounce 50 per cent to S$30 billion in 2023, from a nine-year low in 2022.


Round 135,400 pre-owned flats have been up on the market on the finish of October in Shanghai, a rise of seven.8 per cent from a month earlier, in keeping with, the official web site of the native housing administration bureau.

There’s an exodus of kinds of center class folks from the nation. Many are heading to European nations like Portugal or North America, the place they profit from citizenship schemes. 

The downward spiral is about to proceed in Shanghai’s dwelling market as a rising variety of rich house owners plan to promote their properties and depart the nation. 

As I talked about earlier, many wealthy households shall be transferring to Singapore and to some extent to Hong Kong as effectively.


Some analysis analysts are getting bullish on the worth restoration right here. 

A report by Savills is anticipating the costs to go up by 24 per cent by 2026, which might see prime central London costs return to their 2014 peak. In 2022 alone, values rose by round 8 per cent.

The costs in London fell 20 per cent, since 2014 within the capital’s most prestigious postcodes, and now the restoration is well timed, stated the report.

The indicators are already pointing towards the town’s anticipated rebound, significantly on the very prime finish, and it’s spreading additionally to the smaller properties.

In October 2022, London noticed essentially the most offers on properties priced at £10 million (US$13.5 million) or extra since July 2013. The variety of offers on properties priced at £5 million or extra, in the meantime, outpaced some other October since 2014. 

Belgravia and Mayfair had a lot of the offers recorded, which exhibits that the luxurious market is main the best way to restoration within the capital.

Customisation is the Pinnacle of Luxurious

Bentley Flying Spur Hybrid
Picture: Bentley

And staying within the luxurious of the Nice Britain, it could be attention-grabbing to look into among the grandest manufacturers that the Kingdom received to supply.

British luxurious carmaker Bentley reported file car gross sales for 2022, with robust gross sales offsetting a 9 per cent drop in China attributable to the prolonged pandemic lockdowns.

They’d a rise of 4 per cent from 2021, which was itself a banner yr for Bentley.

“In what was one other yr of unpredictability, the enterprise overcame important headwinds and demonstrated nice resilience to ship the third consecutive file gross sales yr,” Bentley CEO Adrian Hallmark stated in an announcement.

Bentley has more and more centered on customisation and that helped them to common pre-tax gross sales value by practically 30 per cent to €220,000 a automobile in 2022 from €170,000 in 2018.

It doesn’t shock me that the uber-luxury automobile maker Rolls-Royce offered a file variety of vehicles in 2022 as demand for its US$500,000 automobiles remained robust, regardless of the recession and geopolitical scenario on the earth. They didn’t see any slowdown or downturn, in keeping with their CEO.

Rolls-Royce Boat Tail
Picture: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce delivered 6,021 vehicles final yr, up 8 per cent over 2021 and the primary time the corporate crossed the 6,000 mark. 

The corporate stated the typical value of a Rolls-Royce soared to US$534,000 final yr — guess what,  due to its customisation program generally known as “Bespoke”, which contains the whole lot from silk embroidered headliners to personalised champagne chest. 

I imagine we’ll see increasingly more of this pattern increasing into higher demand for giant ticket luxurious objects.

Picture: Alex Shlaen

Alexander Karolik Shlaen, Government MBA, is the founding father of the Singapore-based Panache Administration Pte Ltd which represents Aston Martin Interiors, Tonino Lamborghini Casa and Formitalia design traces in Asia. Panache Administration is concerned in actual property and know-how funding initiatives and offers luxurious interiors and designs for unique actual property, personal jets and superyachts. Shlaen has appeared in varied regional and world media and has written the Luxurious Professional columns of regional enterprise magazines since 2009. He was additionally the chairman of the judges’ panel for Asia Property Awards and is regularly sought to attend established enterprise boards. Be taught extra on

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Rahul Diyashi
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