Each year, the AsiaPropertyHQ Index ranks countries in the Asia Pacific region, based on how attractive they are for individual investors. The score is based on the the following factors: Taxes, Visa Options, Yields, Land Ownership and Capital Controls.
|Malaysia: 100 / 140 Points|
Open to investors, it’s getting easier to obtain local mortgages as a foreigner, albeit still restricted. No restrictions to own land, except for agricultural- and bumiputera reserved land. Offers long term visas through its MM2H program, which also gives you advantages when buying real estate. Mainly fails due to a high rental income tax. Rental yields are comparatively high.
|Thailand: 95 / 140 Points|
Thailand is an attractive spot among investors, with competitive taxes. Offers a long term visa for real estate investments that can be renewed on a yearly basis indefinitely. Rental yields are comparatively good, mainly fails due to the fact that foreigners cannot own land and for having comparatively strict capital controls.
|Vietnam: 92 / 140 Points|
Opened up to foreigners in 2015, the real estate market has one of the best potentials in the region. One of the fastest growing economy in the world and with the highest rental yields. Has preferable demographics and a booming tourism industry. Much infrastructural investment planned.
|Philippines: 86 / 140 Points|
Has a rapidly growing economy and with great rental yields. Offers a long term visa called SRRV, which can be obtained by investing in real estate. Mainly fails due to the fact that foreigners cannot own land, a high rental income tax and comparatively strict capital controls.
|Japan: 78 / 140 Points|
Foreigners have no particular restrictions to buy property. Transparent system with low corruption. The capital gains tax is somewhat high, but foreigners have no restrictions to own land. Capital controls are not as strict compared to developing countries. Much investment planned for the Olympics in 2020.
|Cambodia: 73 / 140 Points|
Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in the region. Demographically, Cambodia is well-positioned and corporations pour in. Mainly fails due to a high capital gains tax, rental income tax and due to the fact that foreigners cannot own land. No long term visas available, like in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines.
|Indonesia: 65 / 140 Points|
Indonesia has good potentials, with great yields. But foreign ownership regulations are still not favorable to investors. Foreigners can neither own land nor condos on a freehold basis. Indonesia is notoriously known for having high property taxes.
|Singapore: 63 / 140 Points|
Singapore has a safe and transparent system, with low corruption. But it’s difficult to buy land as a foreigner, you need to be a permanent resident for at least 5 years and make significant financial contributions. Foreigners are obliged to pay an additional Buyers Stamp Duty of 20% as of 2018. Competitive capital gains tax for buy and hold (0%).
|Korea: 58 / 140 Points|
Korea has many similarities to Japan in terms of foreign ownership regulations and visas. Competitive taxes. Foreigners have no particular problems to get freehold ownership of houses or land. Mainly fails due to low yields and high taxes.
|Hong Kong SAR (PRC): 51 / 140 Points|
Hong Kong is a developed state and has a transparent system. However, even if leasehold is safe, foreigners can’t own land and are subject to an additional Buyers Stamp Duty of 15%, and a sellers stamp duty of at least 10%. With 0% capital gains, and a transparent legal system, Hong Kong still performs fairly well. Hong Kong will always be an attractive spot for property buyers.
|Taiwan (ROC): 48 / 140 Points|
Foreigners are able to own land and houses. Competitive stamp duty. Mainly fails due to high taxes and low yields. The price to income ratio is one the most extreme in the world.
|China: 45 / 140 Points|
China has competitive taxes, but it’s generally hard to get visas (even if Americans can get 10 year visas, we need to take other nationalities into consideration). Foreigners can’t own land and yields are low in general. You need to work or study in China for at least 1 year before you can buy one property.
Total property investment value of US$300,000 by non-resident foreigners with a holding period of 5 years, and with a monthly rental income of USD 1500 is assumed
|1A. Can foreigners own land?||A. Yes: +5 points|
B. No: 0 points
|2A. Stamp duty||A. < 3%: +15 points|
B. 3% < 10%: +10 points
C. > 10%: 0 points
|2B. Property Tax||A. < 1%: +5 points|
B. 1% < 3%: +3 points
C. > 3%: 0 points
|2C. Capital Gains Tax (or SSD)||A. < 6%: +15 points|
B. 6% < 10%: +10 points
D. > 10%: 0 points
|2D. Rental Income Tax||A. < 10%: +10 points|
B. 10% < 20%: +5 points
C. >20%: 0 points
|3. Capital Controls||A. No / Limited Capital Controls: +10 points|
B. Capital Controls: 0 points
|4. Visas||A. Long term visa, easing buying process: +10 points|
B. Tourist visas: 0 points
|5. Rental Yields||Rental yield multiplied with a factor of 10. For example, if Hong Kong has a rental yield of 2.6%, then 26 points will be dedicated|