After a successful 2017 in Malaysia, Australian real-estate firm now eyes Brunei investors

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A view of Melbourne’s skyline from the city’s suburbs.

Waqiuddin Rajak
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

Following a successful year in Malaysia, Australian real-estate firm Monopoly Property Group (MPG) has now set its sights on expanding its clientele in Brunei.

Throughout 2017, the company secured deals with 70 investors in Malaysia and is now looking to emulate the success in the sultanate.

CEO and founder of the 14-year-old agency Ben Howard is of the view that both countries may have similar purchasing behaviour and trends.

He tells The Bruneian that Malaysians would usually buy properties in Australia either for investments or to secure homes for themselves when they migrate to the country.

“Those who purely invest are usually looking for strong opportunities to expand their markets to Australia. They would either get properties or invest in any businesses to slowly expand in the state,” he says.

“Those who migrated usually bought properties either for personal reasons like education, or for business reasons that is to participate in Australia’s business innovation and investment programme,” Howard adds.

The programme is developed by the Australian government to welcome business migrants to develop its economy.

International media has reported about 10,000 rich individuals with personal wealth of more than U$1 million has migrated to Australia last year, mostly coming from China, India and UK.

Howard’s agency has established a strong presence in the UK and is moving into Asia, with China, Malaysia and now Brunei as its target.

Ben Howard, CEO and founder of Monopoly Property Group. Image: Waqiuddin Rajak

While real-estate business in Australia strongly bank on its immigration trend, Howard feels it is also possible for Bruneians to invest without having to migrate to the country.

“They (Bruneians) may have their own business expansion plan, but what I would advise them is to follow closely the real-estate pricing especially in South Australia where properties prices are less than half than the Melbourne and Sydney,” he suggests.

Howard was in Brunei recently to promote 12,000 blocks of land in South Australia including Adelaide in an event held by Kitson Migration Advisory at the Radisson Hotel.

Last year, Australia has received more than 200 business migrant application for the programme and 132 out of them are those looking to settle into South Australia.

“Different from the volatile property markets in Sydney and Melbourne, the South Australian real-estate market is pretty slow but stable, especially for Adelaide,” Howard explains.

“Adelaide is not in the people’s radar yet, but our forecast tells us it could grow as fast as Melbourne, especially with huge amount of investors pumping money to its developments,” he adds.

“And they may give better returns once they are developed, that is why I came here to see if there are any Bruneians interested to take part into this because if you’re looking to invest into Australia, now is the right time.”

MPG on its website states that the firm and its expert consultants offer access to a broad range of skills in all areas in the property industry.

This enables them to deliver on every stage and achieve remarkable results in their business.

Their clients range from first time buyers to high profile successful entrepreneurs who have invested millions of dollars in the Australian property market who have also partnered with them in the development process.

The Bruneian