Much demand for private residential property market in first 9 months: JLL

Blocks of high-rise condominium in the Orchard Road estate.
Blocks of high-rise condominium in the Orchard Road estate. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Improved sentiment and transaction volume, including sales to foreign buyers, made 2016 a positive year for Singapore's private residential property market, a study has found, adding that such demand is expected to continue into 2017.

Foreign buyers from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the United States drove purchase volumes in the first nine months of 2016, the JLL conducted study stated, with an 11.7 per cent rise compared to the same period last year. The buyers excluded permanent residents.

The Chinese were the most active, accounting for 29.4 per cent of all foreign purchases from January to September 2016, overtaking the Indonesians who accounted for 14.6 per cent of all foreign purchases. There were 57 transactions involving buyers from the US in the first three quarters of 2016, taking fourth spot and accounting for 7.3 per cent of foreigner purchases.

Among the top foreign buyers in the first three quarters of 2016, the Indonesians have higher budgets, with most of their deals falling within S$3 million. They have a strong preference for pricier properties above S$1,400 per sq ft and located in the Core Central Region (CCR).

The Chinese and Malaysians are more budget conscious, as a higher proportion of the properties they picked up were priced below S$1.5 million and within the S$750 to S$1,700 per sq ft range, the JLL study found. The Chinese are more active in the Outside Central Region market (OCR) while the Malaysians are more active in the CCR market.

JLL expects the demand trajectory to continue in the same stead into 2017, with properties in the CCR foreseen as the preferred choice.

"Singapore is well-placed to tap on the foreign demand for real estate driven by the growth in local and regional wealth," said Mr Ong Teck Hui, national director of research and consultancy at JLL Singapore. "The deterrent effects of the cooling measures are subsiding as the market gradually accepts them as the new norm," he said.