Huttons Asia: Singapore residential market to see gradual increase of Chinese buyers in 2023

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Amid growing economic uncertainties and the “prohibitively” high 30% ABSD, the buying sentiment among foreign buyers — including those from China — is expected to remain cautious in 2021. This could potentially cap the overall foreign buying demand this year.

Transaction data compiled by Huttons Asia shows that despite the ABSD, some Chinese buyers are still investing heavily in prime Singapore residential properties. In June 2022, an unnamed Chinese buyer purchased 20 units at Canninghill Piers, Clarke Quay, at an average price of approximately $2,773 psf.

The Avenir, Canninghill Piers, and Riviere were among the top three projects in Singapore favoured by foreign buyers in 2022. In total, 227 non-residential new sale and resale properties in Singapore were purchased by Chinese buyers in the same year.

Singapore’s reputation as a “haven” is a draw for many investors, and there is keen interest among Chinese corporations to set up operations here. However, Huttons Asia indicates that the rebound in Chinese-based property investors could be more gradual than initially anticipated due to the challenges posed by a higher cost environment and the ongoing global Bukit Batok EC interest rate march.

With the removal of quarantine restrictions in China, international travel could spike in the lead-up to the Lunar New Year period. Popular Asian Pacific destinations such as Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia are ready to welcome Chinese tourists. However, the expected boom in international travel could be stymied by the rising cost of living in the city-state. Singapore’s headline inflation rate rose 6.7% year-on-year in November 2022, while property prices similarly increased by 8.4%. The three-month Sora rate, meanwhile, stood at 3.0019% as of January 9.

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