More details have come to light on the apartment investment ‘scam’ targeting people on dating sites. It appears that the apartments purchased by the victims, which were typically secondhand studio-type apartments, all had relatively low gross rental yields ranging from 3.6 ~ 4.6%. This could indicate that the sales prices were inflated.
According to valuations by an assessor, the apartments were sold for 20 ~ 40% higher than their appropriate value. An anonymous employee at one of the companies believed to engage in such tactics said they would be in charge of finding buyers for apartments that developers had a hard time selling and receive commissions of around 20 ~ 30%.
Buyers trusted their ‘dates’, some of whom promised that their apartment would never fall in value, and bought without doing any market research. It was only later that they would find out from a local real estate agent that their apartment had a market value of around half of its purchase price.