Despite a massive drop in real estate investments in Malaysia, it has been revealed that investors in the country still prefer to put their money in the property sector.

“Year after year, Malaysians continue to show a propensity for exporting capital in a need to preserve and grow their wealth – with a strong appetite for property,” said Sarkunan Subramaniam, managing director of Knight Frank Malaysia.

This appetite is underlined by the The Wealth Report Attitudes Survey, which showed that 39 percent of ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs) in Malaysia are considering a residential purchase in 2016, the highest in the world.

“In terms of overseas destinations, Malaysia’s top choice is currently Australia, which offers a favourable exchange for the ringgit and good returns on property, not forgetting excellent educational and employment opportunities. Education will likely remain a significant driver with 77 percent of respondents in Malaysia saying demand for overseas education from Malaysian UHNWIs will significantly increase over the next 10 years.”

Additionally, the Attitudes Survey asked the wealth advisors on their clients’ changes in portfolio allocation towards residential property. Majority (65 percent) of Malaysian respondents said asset allocation to residential property has increased over the last decade; while the same percentage said allocations would also increase over the coming 10 years – the highest seen across UHNWIs in Asia Pacific for both decades.

Subramaniam adds, “Malaysians continue to put more faith in brick-and-mortar because property has given them very good returns over the last decade, and it will continue to do so in the next 10 years. Property has consistently outperformed many other asset classes in Malaysia.”

The average age of those with net assets of USD10 million or more is also examined in the report. While these multimillionaires in developed economies such as the UK and Switzerland are likely to be their mid to late 50’s or 60’s, developing economies tend to have younger multimillionaires. This highlights the opportunity for wealth creation in rapidly expanding economies, as well as the increase in global trade and mobility.

Holt explained: “Much of this newfound wealth in Asia has had an impact on the age profile of Asia’s wealth brackets, reflecting the recent nature of the growth and opportunities in these markets. The average age of populations with USD10 million or more in net assets is a case in point, with Chinese individuals in this bracket on average 10 years younger than their Swiss counterparts.”

This story was originally published on on 16 March 2016.