RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Foreigners' home purchases up 20% in the first nine months of 2017

But they only accounted for 22% of private residential sales volume.

Foreign purchases accounted for 30% of sales volume in 2007, and 32% in 2011.

Foreign purchases comprised 29% of the high-end market in 2017, still much lower than the 41% level in 2007.

UOB said the figures suggest that transaction volume of foreign buyers still has room to grow.

Higher foreigner buying will benefit the mid- to high-end segment as they tend to choose prime city centres, which has a higher demand for rentals.

Here's more from UOB Kay Hian:

Foreign purchases have tapered down, especially after the implementation of Additional Buyers Stamp Duties (ABSD) 10% from Dec 11 and 15% from Jan 13.

As overseas regimes caught up with harsher property cooling measures to moderate housing prices and limit foreigners' participation, we expect buying to move up to the mid-high end segment, driven by foreign demand.

The levelling of taxation costs overseas is building up the relative appeal of Singapore real estate to foreign investors.

In Nov 16, Hong Kong doubled its stamp duties on overseas property buyers to 30% eclipsing that of Singapore's 15%.

In Taipei, a punitive divestment gains tax of as high as 45% was unveiled in Jan 16, dwarfing Singapore's Sellers Stamp Duty (SSD) of 12%.

Australia and Canada have also raised the transaction costs for foreigners to own property.

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