News: Private home acquisitions by foreigners drop 26.1% in Q1 2020

Jun 5, 2020

In terms of absolute transaction volume, buyers of all residential status have declined, but the biggest drop came from foreign home buyers (non-PRs) which fell by 26.1% to 215 units in Q1 2020.

Singapore saw private homes sales drop by 14.4% quarter-on-quarter to 4,174 units in Q1 2020 – the lowest since Q1 2019 when 3,743 units were sold, revealed an Edmund Tie report.

Singaporeans accounted for the bulk of private home purchasers at 78%, while permanent residents made up 16% of buyers.

Foreign buyers, on the other hand, accounted for 6% of private home purchasers in Q1 2020, down 1% from Q4 2019’s 7%.

In terms of absolute transaction volume, buyers of all residential status have declined, but the biggest drop came from foreign home buyers (non-PRs) which fell by 26.1% to 215 units in Q1 2020. This was also the lowest since Q1 2019 when foreigners purchased 165 units.

Acquisitions by Singaporeans fell 12.5% to 2,923 units, while purchases by Singapore PRs declined 10.5% to 610 units in Q1 2020.

“A total of 2,089 non-landed sales was clocked in the same quarter,” said the report.

Read: PropertyGuru Property Market Index Q2 2020 Report: How Has COVID-19 Affected the Singapore Property Market?

Meanwhile, non-landed transactions by foreign buyers (by nationalities, both PRs and non-PRs), the “unspecified” group accounted for the biggest portion at 27% in Q1 2020, followed by buyers from mainland China at 23.7%. Unspecified foreign buyers and buyers from mainland China consisted of 23% and 27.9% respectively in Q4 2019.

Over at the traditional prime districts of 9, 10 and 11, buyers from mainland China continued to be the top foreign homebuyer group, accounting for 25.6% in Q1 2020, up from 25.3% in Q4 2019.

Indonesians came in second at 14.1%, followed by Malaysians and Americans, both of which accounted for 8.3% of foreign purchases.

Mainland Chinese also emerged as the top foreign homebuyer group in the city and emerging districts of 1, 2, 4, 7 and 15 at 26.3%. The figure is a decline from the 33.6% proportion registered in Q4 2019.

“For the other districts (mainly city fringe and suburban districts), mainland Chinese and Malaysians comprised the top two foreign homebuyer groups in Q1 2020 (after foreign (unspecified) homebuyer group), followed by Indians and Indonesians,” said Edmund Tie.

“Transaction volumes by these groups of buyers declined on a quarter-on-quarter basis, except for Indians with purchases remaining at 57 units. Purchases by Malaysians fell the most by 43.9% quarter-on-quarter to 64 units in Q1 2020.”

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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