August 12, 2014

Relocating to Asia: Property Market Update

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Relocating to Asia: Property Market Update

As part of Cartus’ Destination Services in Asia, we publish regular updates on residential property that provide an insight into expatriate housing in locations such as Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong. Our latest outlook reviews key trends in property rentals.

In Shanghai, the rental market softened overall in the first quarter of 2014 with a small decrease in prices and stable occupancy levels. In the service apartment sector, demand for small one-bedroom units increased, while larger units experienced flat occupancy.

Generally, in Beijing, weak demand from expatriate families has contributed to dropping occupancy levels in 2014. In addition, the number of new service apartments coming onto the market later in 2014 is expected to increase the supply and balance the previous shortage of properties in this sector.

An increase in the supply of rental homes and tighter government policies on foreign hiring have affected Singapore’s rental market. Data released in Q1 from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) indicated that private rental rates fell for the first time since 2009, with a modest dip of 0.5% versus a small gain of 0.2% at the end of 2013.

A slowdown in demand in Hong Kong for high-end properties has continued in 2014 and has led to greater landlord flexibility on renewals and new leases. Location is an all-important factor currently, with demand for rental properties close to new schools in Clearwater and Discovery Bay being particularly popular.

With changing rental prices and trends, it is important that relocating families receive expert guidance and advice in their property rental search. Important tips include:

•  Arranging a visit prior to the start of an assignment will provide a great opportunity for the relocating family to become familiar with their new location and set clear expectations up front.

•  For maximum choice, assignees should remain flexible about property requirements.

•  Families with children should choose schools before they search for a home to ensure an optimum commute.

•  Once a property has been selected, assignees should act quickly to secure the home.

Cartus publishes regular relocation updates for families moving into these and other key markets in Asia. For further information on Shanghai, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as other destinations, visit our Resource Page. Additionally, you can watch our On the Ground videos that describe living and working in India, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia and Philippines.

For further information about Cartus’ services in Asia, please email

Picture of Susan  Ng

Posted By

Susan Ng

About Susan

Susan is Vice President of Destination Services & Real Estate for Asia Pacific and manages our destination service business teams in Singapore, Hong Kong, and PR China.

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