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.
|1. Philippines: 50.1 / 70 Points|
Grows fast economically and has great rental yields, is only second after Indonesia. Offers a long term visa called SRRV, which you can get 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.
|2. Thailand: 48.7 / 70 Points|
Thailand continues to be an attractive spot among investors and has comparably low 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.
|3. Malaysia: 47.8 / 70 Points|
Open to investors and it’s getting easier to obtain local mortgages as a foreigner, yet still restricted. You have the opportunity to own land on a freehold basis, except for some certain land types. 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.
|4. Vietnam: 43.1 / 70 Points|
Opened up to foreigners as late as 2015 and is one of the fastest growing countries in Asia. The real estate market is promising and has some of the best potentials in the region at the moment. Has preferable demographics, high rental yields, and much infrastructural investment planned.
|5. Japan: 38 / 70 Points|
Foreigners have no particular restrictions to freehold property, including land. 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 listed. Scores high in the PWC Buying Recommendation Index 2019. Much investment planned for the Olympics in 2020.
|6. Cambodia: 37.7 / 70 Points|
Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies in Asia and significantly high yields. Demographically, Cambodia is well-positioned and foreign 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.
|7. Indonesia: 35.9 / 70 Points|
Indonesia is getting increasingly popular among foreign investors and offers the highest yields in Asia. Yet, foreign ownership regulations are still not favorable to investors. It’s notoriously known for having high property taxes by comparison. Indonesia scored high in the PWC Buying Recommendation Index 2019 as well.
|8. Singapore: 34.7 / 70 Points|
Singapore has a safe and transparent system with low corruption. Still, 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. Singapore has a competitive capital gains tax for buy and hold (0%) and scores high in the PWC Buying Recommendation Index 2019.
|9. Korea: 33.6 / 70 Points|
Korea has many similarities to Japan in terms of foreign ownership regulations and visas. Foreigners have no particular problems to get freehold ownership of houses or land and the taxes are comparably low. Mainly fails due to low yields
|10. Taiwan (ROC): 30.8 / 70 Points|
Foreigners can own freehold property in Taiwan, however, you cannot buy land unless Taiwanese citizens can buy land in your home country. 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.
|11. Hong Kong SAR (PRC): 25.1 / 70 Points|
Hong Kong is a developed state and has a transparent system. However, foreigners can’t own land and are subject to an Ad Valorem Stamp Duty of 15% and an additional Buyers Stamp Duty of 15%. 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.
|12. China: 23 / 70 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. You’re not allowed to rent out the 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 1,000 is assumed
|1A. Can foreigners legally own land?||A. Yes: +4 points|
A. With some criteria: +2 points
B. No: 0 points
|1B. Can foreigners own freehold property (except for land)?||A. Yes: +6 points|
B. No: 0 points
|2A. Stamp duty & Transfer fees||A. < 5%: +6 points|
B. 5% < 15%: +4 points
C. > 15%: +2 points
D. > 25%: 0 points
|2B. Property Tax||A. < 1%: +3 points|
B. 1% < 3%: +2 points
C. > 3%: 0 points
|2C. Capital Gains Tax (or SSD)||A. < 6%: +6 points|
B. 6% < 15%: +3 points
D. > 15%: 0 points
|2D. Rental Income Tax||A. < 10%: +2 points|
B. 10% < 20%: +1 points
C. > 20%: 0 points
|3. Capital Controls||A. No / Limited Capital Controls: +4 points|
B. Capital Controls: 0 points
|4. Rental Yields||The rental yields can be found on Global Property Guide’s website. The yield for each country is multiplied by 3.|
|5. General Buying Recommendation 2019||We’ve used PWC’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2019 for the buying recommendations, see page 57/64. The score for each country is divided by 2.|
|6. Visas||A. Long term visa, easing buying process: +6 points|
B. Tourist visas: 0 points