SINGAPORE – Chinese buyers have snapped up the biggest share of Singapore’s condo market in 2022 compared with other foreigners, as total foreign buying of private non-landed homes almost bounced back to pre-pandemic levels.
Buyers from China (both permanent residents and non-PRs) purchased 932 private non-landed units in the first eight months of 2022, almost twice the number bought by Malaysians, who came in second, according to a report by real estate consultancy OrangeTee & Tie.
The Chinese have been the biggest foreign buyer group since 2016 and account for 6.7 per cent of total transactions in 2022. They also took the top spot for luxury condominiums going for $5 million or more, accounting for almost 20 per cent of sales or 81 units. Buyers from the United States came in second with 34 units, and Indonesians third with 28 units.
The report also noted that the total number of foreign (non-PR) buyers for all condo purchases is nearing pre-pandemic levels – undeterred by property curbs implemented in December 2021 and higher interest rates.
In the first eight months of 2022, foreigners bought 607 condo units, slightly lower than the 632 units purchased in the same period in 2019.
In terms of proportion, foreign buyers made up 4.3 per cent of total condo purchasers in the eight months, up from 3.8 per cent in the same period last year.
“Despite the increased additional buyer’s stamp duty, some buyers consider luxury properties here to be cheaper than in many other cities, given that prices have similarly increased in those places,” said Ms Christine Sun, OrangeTee & Tie’s senior vice-president of research and analytics.
The latest cooling measures introduced last week are “not likely to be significant” as these high net worth individuals have sufficient cash or capital, she added.
Foreigners also bought more luxury condos, snapping up 143 such units in the first eight months of 2022, more than the 51 units for the same period in 2020 and 136 units in pre-pandemic January to August 2019.
Luxury condo sales as a proportion of total non-landed units bought by foreigners also rose – to 23.6 per cent in January to August 2022 from 10.9 per cent in the same period of 2020.
The report also said that District 10 was the most popular area among foreign (non-PR) buyers. This was followed by Districts 9, 3 and 6.
OrangeTee & Tie said that for foreign buyers, the “sweet spot” when it comes to prices falls between $800,000 and $2 million for a condo.
For January to August 2022, the majority of Chinese and Indian buyers picked up units between $800,000 and $3 million. For Malaysian buyers, units priced less than $2 million made up the bulk of purchases.
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