S’poreans outpace foreigners in private homes market

Private home sales involving Singaporean buyers rose in April compared to deals made by foreigners including permanent residents (PRs).

Notably, 1,528 caveats were lodged by Singaporeans for private home purchases, a 62 percent increase from March while 405 were lodged by foreigners, a rise of 16.4 percent, The Business Times reported.

The hike among Singaporeans could be attributed to the slew of new launches in March, especially in the suburban mass market segment, said Alice Tan, Research Head at Knight Frank.

These projects appealed more to Singaporeans, especially first-time buyers who are unaffected by the cooling measures. Moreover, housing options unveiled by developers in March and exercised by buyers in April with caveats lodged could have contributed to the rise.

Overall, the number of caveats lodged for private home purchases dropped to 5,721 in Q1 this year from 8,725 in the previous quarter. Caveats lodged by Singaporeans fell 36.6 percent quarter-on-quarter compared to the 25.3 percent decline for foreigners.

Nonetheless, Tan expects the proportion of Singaporean buyers to increase in Q2 and Q3 as they continue to look for homes at new projects launching over this period.

“Conversely, the share of foreign buyers is projected to decline, as they are affected by the higher purchasing cost (higher additional buyer’s stamp duty rates) and would adopt a more measured approach before investing in the Singapore residential property market,” she said.

However, foreigners will remain “attracted to Singapore’s stable fundamentals and their interest for private homes would stay”.

Source – PropGuru – 22 May 2013

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