News: Sales of Singapore high-end apartments reach 11-year high

Sep 23, 2019

For the first eight months of this year, 68 condominium units in the city state were sold for at least $10 million each, the highest mark since the corresponding period in 2008.

Sales of apartments in Singapore valued at $10 million have reached an 11-year high, buoyed by increased demand from Chinese millionaires looking for safe-haven assets, reported Thomson Reuters citing OrangeTee & Tie.

Singapore has long been viewed as a place of stability that attracts Chinese multi-millionaires and the super-rich from its less developed South-east Asian neighbouring countries.

For the first eight months of this year, 68 condominium units in the city state were sold for at least $10 million each, the highest mark since the corresponding period in 2008.

OrangeTee & Tie’s analysis of transaction data show that the sale of such apartments exceeded the numbers reached each year from 2011 to last year.

There are buyers who may have been shifting funds from China after its currency was devalued in a trade war with the US, while some may be seeking an alternative to Hong Kong which has been rocked by political protests.

“This may explain why we have observed more foreign buyers, especially mainland Chinese, coming into Singapore lately,” said Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie head of research and consultancy.

Luxurious apartments in high-end neighbourhoods are mainly purchased by foreigners, because at such high prices, citizens have the option to buy landed property, such as mansions and bungalows.

In fact, mainland Chinese are the biggest group of foreign buyers of local luxury homes.

Chinese citizens purchased 76 apartments in Singapore’s prime districts valued at more than $5 million each from January to last month, in contrast to 75 purchases by citizens.

Singapore prohibits foreigners from buying landed homes, except for those on the resort island of Sentosa.

“We do see that even though the stamp duties have increased… we are still seeing people putting big money on these apartments, predominantly more for stability than anything else,” said Leong Boon Hoe, List Sotheby’s International Realty chief operating officer.

He was alluding to the measures Singapore used last year to cool down its real estate market, including hiking additional stamp duties for foreign buyers from 15 percent to 20 percent.

“They are parking their money here – they know that the Singapore dollar won’t depreciate overnight,” he added.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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