Asia Property HQ

Learn How to Buy Property in ASEAN

Asia Property Index

Each year, the AsiaPropertyHQ Index ranks countries in the Asia Pacific region, based on how attractive they are for individual property investors. The score is based on the the following factors: Risk level / Process Complexity, Taxes, Visa Options and Capital Controls. However, the index doesn’t take expected ROI or yields into consideration.

 Malaysia property index Malaysia: 80 / 110 Points
Open to investors, it’s getting easier to obtain local mortgages as a foreigner. No restrictions to own land (generally, foreigners cannot own agricultural land and bumiputera reserved land). Offers long term visas through its MM2H program. Only fails on high rental income tax and property tax. Offers a competitive stamp duty and capital gains tax.
 Korea property index Korea: 75 / 115 Points
Has some similarities to Japan. Competitive taxes. Foreigners have no problems to get freehold ownwership of houses or land.
 Japan property index Japan: 65 / 110 Points
Open to investors, foreigners have no restrictions to buy houses or land. Transparent system with low corruption, but high taxes.
 HK Property index Hong Kong SAR (PRC): 65 / 110 Points
Developed state and transparent system. However, even if leasehold is safe, foreigners can’t own land and are subject to an additional Buyers Stamp Duty of 15%. With 0% capital gains tax, and a transparent legal system, Hong Kong still performs fairly well.
  Singapore: 65 / 110 Points
Safe and transparent system, with low corruption. Difficult to buy land as a foreigner, need to be permanent resident for at least 5 years or make a significant financial contribution. Foreigners are obliged to pay an additional Buyers Stamp Duty of 15%. Competitive capital gains tax for buy and hold (0%).
  Thailand: 65 / 110 Points
More risky in general, compared to the above mentioned countries. Stricter capital controls and a high capital gains tax. Pros: offers long term visas and a competitive stamp duty and property tax.
  Philippines: 60 / 110 Points
Buying process more risky compared to above mentioned countries. Offers long term visas, a low stamp duty and capital gains tax. Capital control is less strict compared to Thailand. Growing fast economically.
 Taiwan property index Taiwan (ROC): 60 / 110 Points
Foreigners are able to own land (although restricted) and houses. Competitive stamp duty. Fails mainly on higher taxes.
 China China: 55 / 110 Points
Competitive taxes but generally harder to get visas, for example (even if Americans can get 10 year visas, we need to take other nationalities into consideration).
  Cambodia: 50 / 110 Points
Risky for the unexperienced investor, not stable politically and still has much to prove. Foreigners can’t own land. Grows fast economically.
 Vietnam Vietnam: 45 / 110 Points
Opened up 2015, foreigners should be cautious before buying property. Hiring a solicitor is a must. Foreigners can’t own land and foreigners recently had issues to obtain ownership certificates. Grows fast economically.
 Indonesia Indonesia: 15 / 110 Points
Risky for the unexperienced investor. Foreigners can neither own land nor condos. Very high taxes.

Index Methodology

Total property investment value of US$300,000 by non-citizens with a holding period of 5 years is assumed

Factor Points
1A. Risk Level / Buying Process Complexity A. Low: +20 points

B. Moderate: +15 points

B. High: 0 points

1B. Can foreigners own land? A. Yes: +10 points

B. No: 0 points

2A. Stamp Duty (+acquisition tax or VAT if applied) A. <5%: +15 points

C. >5%: 0 points

2B. Property Tax A. 0%: +10 points

B. <1%: +5 points

C. >1%: 0 points

2C. Capital Gains Tax A. 0%: +15 points

B. <10%: +10 points

D. >10%: 0 points

2D. Rental Income Tax A. 0%: +10 points

B. <10%: +5 points

C. >10%: 0 points

3. Capital Controls A. No / Limited Capital Controls: +10 points

B. Capital Controls: 0 points

4. Visas A. Long term visa: +20 points

B. Easy to obtain tourist visas: +10 points

C. Neither: 0 points