Malaysians top foreign property buyers in Singapore

Malaysians reclaimed top spot among foreigners buying Singapore properties despite the tough cooling measures introduced in December last year. They have overtaken the Chinese buyers.

A report by DTZ Research revealed that Malaysians had a high of 362 transactions, marking a 28 percent share among foreign buyers due to the larger number of Malaysian PRs in the country.

In the same report, it is revealed that Chinese, including permanent residents (PRs), purchased 292 homes in Q1, down 54 percent from the 640 homes acquired in Q4 2011 – the lowest number in over two years.

This means that the proportion of Chinese buyers relative to non-Singaporeans fell to 23 percent from 29 percent last quarter, the lowest drop among all nationalities.

The latest measures include a 10 percent Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) on all home purchases by foreigners. PRs need to pay an extra three percent on their second and subsequent home purchases.

Demand from non-PR foreigners fell 75 percent to 336 units. Their proportion of the private market fell to a three-year low of six percent. PRs took a 16 percent share while Singaporeans made up the remaining 78 percent.

DTZ noted that the drop in proportion of foreign purchases post-ABSD was more drastic as compared to 17 years ago when another major policy change was implemented.

Back in Q3 1996, foreign purchases fell by a smaller margin of 57 percent, following the government’s restriction on the extension of loans to PRs and foreigners.

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