S'poreans buy more luxury homes this year

S'poreans buy more luxury homes this year

After a short lull in the first quarter of this year, Singaporeans seem to be trotting back to the luxury property market, with the total number of units purchased by them so far this year surpassing the total number transacted by this group in the whole of last year.

A total of 46 luxury homes were purchased by Singaporeans in 2012, as compared to 40 homes in 2011.
The spike was contributed primarily by transactions made in Q2, which saw a total number of 31 luxury homes purchased by Singaporeans as compared to 11 in the same period last year.

The proportion of purchases made by Singaporeans was found to have increased significantly from 19 per cent in 2011 to 35 per cent in 2012 year to date almost on a par with foreigners.

For the first three quarters of this year, foreigners purchased 49 homes, contributing to approximately 37 per cent of the purchases made. This is significantly lower than the 100 luxury homes purchased in 2011, which contributed to 47 per cent of luxury homes purchased last year.

The remaining 27 per cent of luxury-home transactions were made by Singapore permanent residents and companies who purchased 32 and four luxury homes so far this year respectively.

Luxury home prices, which have fallen 2.0 per cent over the past three quarters, also stabilised in Q3, in part due to increased purchases by local buyers. The average price per square foot (psf) for Q2 and Q3 remained the same at $2,621.

Luxury homes are defined as non-landed projects with most units larger than 2,000 sq ft in size and generally costing more than $2,500 psf.

In addition, landed homes continues to lead the price increase as buyers found more value in the larger floor areas and are driven by the scarcity fear factor that prices will rise beyond their reach.

Average resale prices of freehold landed homes in the prime districts rose by 1.2 per cent in Q3, higher than the 1.0 per cent rise in Q2. In the suburban areas, prices rose even more, by 2.4 per cent on average, double the 1.2 per cent increase in Q2.

Prices of freehold apartments/condominiums in the prime districts of 9, 10 and 11 as well as in the suburban areas also rose in Q3 by 1.0 per cent.

Source: Business Times – 26 September 2012