Luxe Singapore apartment sales hit 11-year high

Chinese capital keeping upscale units in demand

Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. venesa williams/Shutterstock

The volume of upmarket apartments sold in Singapore have reached a peak not seen in 11 years, Reuters reported, citing research from OrangeTee & Tie.

Sixty-eight condominium units, valued at no less than USD10 million each, were sold in the first eight months of the year. This represents the highest tally for condos in this pricing segment since the first eight months of 2008.

The sales also eclipse the tally for each full year from 2011 through 2019, OrangeTee & Tie data revealed to Reuters.

The Chinese continue to top the biggest groups of foreign buyers of luxury Singapore apartments. In the first eight months of 2019, Chinese nationals purchased 76 apartments worth no less than USD5 million each, edging out 75 purchases by Singaporeans.

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The devaluation of the Chinese yuan, a consequence of the ongoing Sino-American trade war, has encouraged buyers to move capital from China, according to Christine Sun, head of research and consultancy at OrangeTee & Tie. Still, other buyers may be looking for a more stable alternative to Hong Kong, riddled by demonstrations over recent months.

“This may explain why we have observed more foreign buyers, especially mainland Chinese, coming into Singapore lately,” she said.

Foreigners are usually restricted to buying non-landed homes, leaving citizens the option to buy landed property in the same pricing range.

“We do see that even though the stamp duties have increased… we are still seeing people putting big money on these apartments, predominantly more for stability than anything else,” said Leong Boon Hoe, chief operating officer of high-end property agency List Sotheby’s International Realty.