Interest in luxury property market rises by 70% in last 2 years

With the high-end luxury segment leading the residential sector in price increases this year, Singapore developers have been roping in global names to give their projects that extra touch of distinction.A growing number of partnerships are being formed, especially with companies in branded home furnishings.

Reflections at Keppel Bay is among the high-end residential projects set to be completed in Singapore soon.

Developer Keppel Land spared no expense in roping in world-renowned architect Daniel Libeskind for the project, with the aim of putting Singapore on the world prime real estate map.

It has also gone one step further by working with other international names to give its units that touch of distinction. These include luxury furniture brands such as Minotti and Giorgetti.

Agustine Tan, Director, Keppel Land, said: “I think with globalisation and international exposure, buyers have actually become more sophisticated… they look at it is as a prestige lifestyle, an entire package of getting into a house that they enjoy.

“70 percent of our buyers are in fact foreigners, if you include the PRs – the PRs will actually account for about 28 percent… locals (account for) 33 percent, and the rest are foreigners, so I think we have attracted a good foreign crowd – a good following who are believers in our lifestyle; when they come and see the quality… and the ability to deliver, that’s the most important thing.”

The kitchens are designed by Germany’s Miele – which has made a name for itself in the luxury kitchen market.

Markus Miele, Managing Director, Miele, said: “I think that the world is getting richer everyday, and we see a growing demand in the high-end (sector); we see a lot of consumers who will pay for quality, who want luxury goods, and this is the case all over the world…”

While top furnishings have helped to woo buyers, property watchers have said that demand next year will hinge on the big picture.

Donald Han, Managing Director, Cushman and Wakefield, said: “We’ve seen very strong growth for the luxury market rising over 70 percent in last two years. The market is taking a breather now.

“Moving forward, next year we expect the market to be dominated by the mid as well as mass market. We expect investors to start moving (the) market upwards for the luxury market in the next year depending on the economy in Singapore as well as the global economy.

“Whatever happens to sub-prime will have an impact on the luxury market. The economy, luxury market are driven by foreign demand so their perception of economic growth in Singapore would be one of the main criteria for them to invest more or less in Singapore.”

Some 70 percent of the buyers at Reflections are foreigners. They include the Al-Nibras Islamic Estate Fund (Al-Nibras Fund) which bought two blocks of 56 waterfront units for S$286 million. – CNA/ms

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Dec 2007