Foreigners are making a comeback in Singapore’s residential property market after pulling back from it in 2012, following the implementation of the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD).
Based on the number of caveats lodged, statistics by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) show that purchases by foreigners increased by 48% to 794 units in 1H2017 compared to 535 units in 1H2016, while those by permanent residents (PRs) rose by 32% to 1,876 units in 1H2017 from 1,416 units in 1H2016.
To provide a comparison, private property purchases made by Singaporeans rose by 69% to 8,950 units in 1H2017 from 5,297 units in 1H2016.
In this article, we will look at the top foreign nationalities who have been snapping up private residential properties in Singapore, as well as where they are buying in 2017, based on URA statistics.
Buyers from China have consolidated their position as the top buying group in Singapore over the past five years, making up the majority of all foreign property investors here.
The three most popular locations with Chinese buyers in 2017 were districts 19 (Serangoon Garden, Hougang, Punggol), 23 (Hillview, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang) and 5 (Pasir Panjang, Clementi New Town).
URA statistics showed that the majority of Chinese investors bought properties between $500,000 and $1 million this year. This is followed closely by properties ranging between $1 million and $1.5 million. Find properties above $1.5 million here.
Singapore’s closest neighbours come in a close second on the list of top foreign property buyers here on the island.
The three most sought-after locations for Malaysian buyers in 2017 were districts 19 (Serangoon Garden, Hougang, Punggol), 18 (Tampines, Pasir Ris) and 27 (Yishun, Sembawang).
According to URA statistics, the majority of Malaysian investors purchased properties ranging between $500,000 and $1 million this year. Find similarly-priced properties here.
Properties within the core central region have always been favoured by Indonesian investors, the third largest group of foreign property investors in Singapore. This is consistent with their buying patterns in 2017.
Properties in districts 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill River Valley), 10 (Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road) and 19 (Serangoon Garden, Hougang, Punggol) were most sought-after by Indonesian investors this year.
There is notable demand for high-end properties among Indonesian buyers, with 11% buying properties between $3 million and $5 million, and with 10% buying properties above $5 million.
Collectively, the majority of Indonesian buyers invested most in properties between $500,000 and $1 million in 2017. This is followed closely by properties ranging between $1 million and $1.5 million. Find similarly-priced properties within the prime districts here.
City fringe developments, which offer a reasonable trade-off between the distance away from the Central Business district and price, have been seeing a steady stream of buyers. This includes scores of Indian investors, who make up the fourth largest group of foreign property investors here.
According to URA figures, the most popular locations with Indian investors this year were districts 18 (Tampines, Pasir Ris), 15 (Katong, Joo Chiat, Amber Road) and 16 (Bedok, Upper East Coast, Eastwood).
The majority of Indian investors bought properties between the price range of $500,000 and $1 million this year, URA statistics showed. Find similarly-priced properties here.
Eligible for ABSD remission, American buyers round off this list. They are drawn to property in Singapore’s centre, especially at locations in the prime districts.
URA statistics show that properties in districts 9 (Orchard, Cairnhill, River Valley), 10 (Ardmore, Bukit Timah, Holland Road) and 15 (Katong, Joo Chiat, Amber Road) were the most sought-after locations by American investors in 2017.
In the past year, American buyers have invested primarily on properties ranging between $1 million and $1.5 million, followed closely by properties ranging between $1.5 million and $2 million, and following that, between $2 million and $3 million. Browse properties above $2 million here.
New property hotspots
From the above, it is apparent that properties located in the north-east and central regions saw the highest level of demand from foreign buyers and buyers who are Singapore PRs this year. However, it is worth noting that new project launches in these areas contributed to the bulk of private residential unit sales within districts in these regions.
For instance, sales transactions at Kingsford Waterbay and Stars of Kovan collectively made up about 25% of all property sales transactions among foreign buyers and buyers who are PRs within district 19 this year.
Meanwhile, new launches such as Sophia Hills, Gramercy Park, OUE Twin Peaks and Martin Modern collectively made up about 30% of all sales transactions among foreign buyers and buyers who are PRs within districts 9 and 10 in 2017.
Photo Credit: June Lim