The Republic of Singapore is a global financial center of around 5.7 million. The city-state is a contrast of cultures, offering a perfect blend of contemporary living that is unlike any other place in the world.
Sammi Lim, founder and executive director of Brilliance Capital, knows the area, having 17 years of experience in development and real estate. Her background in international real estate and high-value deals is in sync with Singapore’s luxury and ultra-luxury markets.
When talking about fundamentals in Singapore, Lim explains that the city-state is “a market with healthy liquidity, political stability, and a pro-business environment that attracts family offices and relocations of people to Singapore.” In addition, Lin notes that “Singapore has good governance, strong confidence in capital value preservations, an open economy, and a relatively low tax environment.”
The luxury markets in Singapore are largely defined by Districts. Located in Districts 9, 10, and 11, the luxury property options range from ultra-luxury condominiums to low-rise to high-rise blocks. “Then comes the typical landed homes as the next sector. For one to own a landed home, they need to be either a permanent resident or Singapore Citizen in Singapore,” said Lim.
Then according to Lim, there is the “crème de la crème the Good Class Bungalows sector, with a total of only 2,800 homes. For one to own a GCB, they need to be a Singapore Citizen in Singapore.” These properties are reportedly in demand with high-profile tech entrepreneurs.
For about US $7.4 million, currently on the market is a semi-detached house in the popular Greenbank Park area near the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve. The 11,617-square-foot property features six bedrooms and ten bathrooms. It is also well located near several prestigious international schools, including Swiss School in Singapore, Hollandse School, and Chatsworth International School.
As with many international luxury real estate markets, Singapore felt the impact of the pandemic. Like others, the market was quiet amid international travel restrictions. As things eased up international buyers returned.
In September, a report from CNBC noted year-over-year home prices in Singapore (outside central) region rose almost 14%. That’s twice the annual growth of 6.4% across Asia-Pacific.
Lim shares her take on the activity: “From the local market, there is an increase in flight to quality mindset. As people realized the importance of quality living through this pandemic situation. There is a significant increase in demand for bigger and better-quality homes. In Asia, Singapore has performed significantly better than its peers, coming out of the crisis even stronger in the residential sector.”
Since the pandemic, Singapore has attracted more international buyers, some of who have chosen to make Singapore their new or alternative base. Typical buyers continue to hail from China and Indonesia, with new international buyers from Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Korea and the United States. “These buyers tend to like high-end residential condominiums in the prime districts. For those who obtained permanent residencies, or citizenship, they tend to upgrade to landed properties, or the best in class landed, which are the good-class Bungalows,” Lim observes.
It will be interesting to see how Singapore’s luxury market fares in 2022.