Asian Review


Koh Sin Yee

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This paper examines the ways through which real estate developers and their agents facilitate the investment-migration mobility of middle-class investor-migrants in Asia. Drawing from ongoing research conducted in Brunei, Singapore and Iskandar Malaysia, this paper argues that the property marketing industry can be conceptualised as a transnational mobility industry. Th is is because this intermediary industry (1) exposes potential investor-migrants to the idea of transnational investment-migration; and (2) educates and facilitates the investment-migration of its clients and their capital, especially through the use of subtle marketing strategies such as social activities and exploratory property tours – what I call “property tourism”. As most sales rely on repeat and referral clients, these intermediaries in turn facilitate diverse and multiply overlapped migration mobilities amongst investor-migrants (e.g. tourism, temporary, transnational, retirement). Th is paper concludes by highlighting the implications of this transnational mobility industry on our understandings of transnational mobility and the perpetuation of inequalities.



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