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by OrangeTee & Tie Pte Ltd.

Foreign Buying of Singapore Private Homes Hits 17-Year Low

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SG, 27 Jan 2021

Foreigners snapping up private apartments in Singapore declined to a 17-year low in 2020 as travel restrictions and lockdowns in various countries deterred them from coming to the city state. Purchases of units fell to 742 last year, according to Singapore-based real estate consultancy firms ERA Realty Network and OrangeTee & Tie Pte. That is the lowest since 2003, when non-permanent residents bought 671 units, based on an analysis of government data as of Tuesday that takes into account new, sub-sale and second-hand flats. Singapore’s two-month “circuit breaker” lockdown last year put a stop to viewings and closed display units. Even as the country eased virus curbs, border restrictions are still largely in place globally, preventing foreigners from travelling to the city state to purchase units.

“For the luxury market, many buyers prefer to physically inspect the premises or visit a show flat before making a purchase,” said Christine Sun, senior vice-president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie. “Last year, many overseas buyers were not able to travel to Singapore to view properties in person which may have resulted in a dip in foreign purchases.” Non-permanent resident apartment purchases in 2020 accounted for just 4.1 per cent of total sales, the lowest in more than two decades, according to government data compiled by ERA Realty Network and OrangeTee & Tie.

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