Singapore luxury market rebounds despite fewer foreign buyers

Foreigners are the primary buyers of premium apartments in the state

Singapore (iStock)
Singapore (iStock)

Singapore’s housing market has rebounded from the lows brought on by the pandemic earlier this year, even with fewer foreign buyers.

Since January, 2,177 apartments have sold in central Singapore, compared to 1,797 in the same period last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Some developers dropped prices as much as 10 percent during a partial lockdown this summer, but the median price per square foot in central Singapore is up 7.5 percent year-over-year to $1,705.

The country is one of most expensive places to live in the world, but these days, homes priced on the lower end of the market are moving quicker than those at the higher end.

Agents say the $3.5 million mark is the dividing line; units below that price are selling, but the market is slower above it.

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Because of government restrictions on foreigners owning large plots of land, those wealthy buyers tend to buy the most expensive real estate in the country: apartments in luxury towers.

The dearth of foreign buyers is contributing to the bifurcation of the market. Some agents say that wealthy Chinese buyers in particular are beginning to shop again.

The Chinese government’s crackdown on political dissent in Hong Kong is also driving some wealthy residents of that territory to Singapore.

Singaporean government policy has also helped stabilize the country’s housing market. Property tax rebates helped the market earlier this year.

The government also caps debt to 60 percent of a real estate buyer’s gross monthly income and promotes gradual price appreciation through measures including stamp duties, according to the Journal. [WSJ] — Dennis Lynch