Proportion of foreign buyers rises

The proportion of foreign buyers in the Singapore property market is on the rise following recent price falls, according to data published by CIMB in its Cost of Living survey.

The report, published yesterday, said: “Foreigners view Singapore as a good city to own a piece of property, but cited high property prices as their key deterrent. In a separate survey of foreigners not based in Singapore, 35 percent of the surveyed population believe that the biggest draw for investing in a property in Singapore is its infrastructure and security, with Singapore being seen as a clean and efficient city.

“However, when asked what the main deterrent to buying a property was, the majority (83 percent) cited high property prices and softer outlook. Obviously, our survey also has some shortcomings as Indonesian tycoons or Middle Eastern tycoons are unlikely to take part in our survey.”

It added that in reality, these views are also reflected in lower take-ups by both foreign and investment demand.

“Foreign demand has fallen, now making up less than 10 percent of new sales compared to 15 percent two years ago. Investment demand has fallen as well, with upgraders making up more than 60 percent of new sales versus 50 percent two years ago.”

Just like locals, CIMB believes the expectation of falling prices is the main deterrent to buying properties now. Singapore remains fundamentally a good city to own a property and demand should be supportive when property prices fall to a reasonable level.

It said: “In our view, that reasonable level is a 10-15 percent decline in the next two years. With the recent fall in property prices, we have already started to see the proportion of foreign buyers creeping up.”

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