GLOBAL appeal

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2011, 12:00am


Foreign buyers accounted for 60 per cent of the high-end market in Singapore in the first six months of this year, up from 46 per cent last year, according to an analysis by Cushman & Wakefield. Chinese and Indonesians have dominated the upmarket segment, making up almost half of all high-priced purchases.

Quoting data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, Toby Dodd, executive director and country manager for Cushman & Wakefield in Singapore, says of the 162 luxury units purchased by foreigners in the first half, 40 were bought by mainland Chinese, and 36 by Indonesians. This reflects the 'high value proposition' Singapore's high-end residential real estate has for foreigners, largely due to the political stability and transparency of the country.'

'Foreigners' confidence in Singapore residential properties is also strengthened by the development of the two integrated resorts, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts Word Sentosa, that enhance our attractiveness,' Dodd continues. 'High-end properties are attractive also as their price increase is generally gradual and, on average, about 8 per cent lower than record high in early (1Q) 2008.'

Sebastian Yap, senior sales director at Savills Residential, believes Singapore's strong fundamentals are proving attractive to foreign buyers. He expects foreign buying interest will strengthen further, as more overseas finds flow into Asia amid escalating economic uncertainties in the West and more tightening measures in Hong Kong and the mainland.

Sentosa Cove is a major development expected to attract strong local and international interest. 'This represents good value, because when the cove enters [the] maturing stage and becomes self-sufficient, rentals will shoot up and prices will follow,' Yap says.

An indicator of the area's future value is the strength of foreigner interest in its top-end houses, Yap says. 'There is a huge demand among the rich and famous. Top-quality houses here command a large premium against the average house.'

Yap says another area of value in Singapore is the ultra high-end condos in the Orchard Road vicinity, where prices 'are still way below the previous high set in 2007'. Holland Road, sought after by expatriates and affluent locals who favour the tranquility, greenery and opportunity to buy luxury freehold property within commuting distance of the central business district, is another area on investors' watch list.

Expected to be ready for occupancy next year, The Trizon is a major new development on Holland Road, in the prestigious residential enclave known as District 10.

With panoramic views of the city and Bukit Timah hill, the 289-apartment, three-tower development is about 10 minutes' drive from the Orchard Road shopping belt, within walking distance of Dover MRT station, and close to popular Holland Village and Dempsey Hill. Easy access to educational institutions, including the National University of Singapore and SIM University, and Singapore's premier business parks, appeal to investors looking at rental returns.

The Trizon's developer, Singapore Land (SingLand), is responsible for some of Singapore's finest and best known commercial landmarks - among them SGX Centre, Singapore Land Tower, UIC Building, The Gateway and Stamford Court - and retail developments Marina Square and West Mall.