Singapore luxury home market facing a changing landscape

Foreign investors continue to change the landscape of the luxury property market in Singapore.

According to Cushman and Wakefield’s analysis of URA caveats lodged, Indonesians and mainland Chinese formed the majority in the upmarket segment this year, followed by Malaysians, Indians and the British.

“Singapore is seen by many foreign investors to be a safe haven for property investment due to the transparency of our property market, track record and position as a global city,” said Khalil Adis, a property expert and regular contributor to PropertyGuru.

Foreigners, including permanent residents (PRs), purchased 162 non-landed units with an average price of more than S$5 million in the first half of this year, according to The Straits Times.

While the influx of foreign currency into Singapore has helped keep the economy afloat and boosted investors’ confidence in the property market, it has also pushed up property prices across all sectors.

This makes it more difficult for first-time homeowners to afford the increasingly pricey properties.

Khalil noted that the “government has acknowledged this problem and moved swiftly to bring prices back to a sane level shortly after its worst election showing since independence.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Development (MND) has priced several Built-To-Order (BTO) projects across five estates — Sengkang, Jurong West, Tampines, Yishun and Bukit Panjang at rather reasonable prices.

These flats include four- and five-room units, priced at S$217,000 and S$274,000 respectively.

“With the economic uncertainty ahead, there is no need for any form of cooling measures, as luxury properties are set to see a drop in prices,” Khalil said.

“In fact, for those who have complained that private properties in Singapore are way too expensive to own, the economic downturn will present plenty of buying opportunities,” he concluded.

Source : PropertyGuru – 20 Sep 2011

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