In Focus
RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Local buyers account for 76.6% of home purchases in 2018

Seven in 10 or 67.5% of the transactions were priced below $1.5m.

The proportion of total condo sales by Singapore citizens (SCs) rose from 74.7% in 2017 to 76.6% in 2018 as the cooling measured had a greater impact on Singapore permanent residents (SPRs) and non-permanent residents (NPRs), according to a report by Edmund Tie & Company (ETCo). This was the highest since 2009, surpassing the 75.7% in 2012.

In 2018, the 5% hike in Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates and tighter Loan-to-Value (LTV) limit by 5% hit SCs and NPRs who are acquiring their second and subsequent residential properties. Post-cooling measures, the dwindling investor demand from SCs was the main contributor for the 9.2% decline of condo sales to 14,827 units, ETCo said.

The report also noted that SC buyers seem to remain price-conscious amidst rising interest rates and the cooling measures as 67.5% (69.8% in 2017) of condo sales were priced below $1.5m.

Meanwhile, 28.8% (28.5% in 2017) were transactions under $1m.

Local buyers who opted for higher priced units rose to 32.5% as transactions priced between $1.5-2m rose to 19% from 17.5% in 2017 whilst condo sales of those priced between $2m-$3m rose from 9% in 2017 to 9.7% in 2018.

Based on data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), most of the top selling non-landed projects were in the OCR and RCR .

“On the evening of 5 July (prior to the cooling measures), an estimated 600 units of developments such as the Riverfront Residences, Park Colonial and Stirling Residences were sold to SCs,” the research firm said. “Key success drivers for these popular projects included their competitive prices, location and easy access to amenities.”

In 2019, the research firm thinks that SCs will likely increase its market share of total sale transactions in 2019, whilst the SPRs and NPRs will continue to shrink especially for NPRs.  

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