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APAC Realty inks deal to manage MLN Overseas properties in Singapore, South-east Asia

APAC Realty, which owns ERA Realty Network in Singapore, signed an agreement on March 14 with Chinese overseas real estate company MLN Overseas (Singapore) to help the latter's Chinese clients manage their properties in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Under the agreement, MLN will refer its Chinese clients looking to buy Singapore properties to ERA, which will see them through the entire process including after-sale services.

In Malaysia and Thailand, ERA will help MLN clients with after-sale services such as leasing and resale.

Jack Chua, executive director and chief executive officer of APAC Realty, said that the interest from well-heeled Chinese customers in Singapore would be primarily in high-end properties in prime areas. They would likely not be deterred by the 15 per cent Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) and want to capitalise on the decline in high-end property prices over the last few years.

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MLN said that it has sold about 1,600 units in Malaysia, Thailand and other South-east Asian countries to Chinese customers in the past two years.

"Chinese property buyers are concerned about after-sale services as they are unable to manage their overseas properties in person," noted Juliet Zhu, president and executive director of MLN.

"With APAC Realty's strong brand presence and stellar track record, we can assure our clients that overseas investments are carefully managed."

MLN, which has seven branches in South-east Asia, is seizing on an increase in interest from Chinese property buyers in investing overseas. According to a recent report by Hurun, Chinese buyers spent over US$100 billion on overseas properties in 2017.

Many of MLN's overseas clients often have business dealings and investments outside of China, thanks to the Belt and Road initiative, and their ability to buy property is therefore likely not be affected by currency controls, Ms Zhu said.

ERA has close to 17,500 professional real estate sales agents across nine countries in South-east Asia including Singapore.

Mr Chua said APAC Realty is also looking to expand in China via acquisition.