Primed for investors
The Lion City is where the world's top earners like to invest their money. Luxury properties in Singapore are the most prized in the Asia-Pacific by global high-net-worth individuals, according to Knight Frank's 2012 Wealth Report, jointly launched with Citi Private Bank.
Along with Hong Kong, Singapore is considered a 'super-prime' destination for buyers splurging US$20 million or more apiece.
'This is perhaps unsurprising given recent geopolitical turmoil around the globe, and in some ways it goes to explain why we are still seeing prime assets being purchased here in Singapore by foreigners,' says Png Poh Soon, head of consultancy and research at Knight Frank.
The proportion of private home purchases made by foreigners increased to a record 31 per cent last year from 25 per cent in 2010, with Chinese nationals overtaking Malaysians for the first time to become the top foreign buyers.
Among the deals Knight Frank concluded in the S$5 million (HK$30.8 million) to S$10 million bracket in this year's first quarter, most were for foreign buyers. Even government cooling measures requiring foreigners to pay 10 per cent additional buyers' stamp duty (ABSD) have not dampened enthusiasm for prime property.
'Some studies had been done to evaluate foreign buyers' transactions post ABSD. In general, the proportion of foreign buyers has fallen significantly island-wide. However, for prime homes, the trend of foreign buyers remains intact,' Png says.
Mainland buyers are becoming increasingly active in Singapore. In Colliers International's global forecast for this year, Singapore is named as one of its top three picks for overseas property investment, and it predicts that mainland buyers, who own nearly 30 per cent of the island's private residences, will continue to be active this year, drawn by low mortgage rates and attractive returns.
Luxury properties in Singapore are among the finest in the world, with a wide range on the market.
At the heart of the famous Orchard Road, Wing Tai Holdings is developing the 140-unit Helios Residences on Cairnhill Circle, a freehold landmark that is situated conveniently close to the Central Expressway. The twin-tower, 20-storey condominium, designed by Guida Moseley Brown Architects of Australia, offers privacy on a treetop recreational deck and cleverly filters sunlight without compromising on breezy ventilation.
In the prime Orchard-Oxley neighbourhood in District 9, Wing Tai Holdings has developed Belle Vue Residences, a five-storey luxury freehold condominium comprised of 176 units. Conceptualised by acclaimed Japanese architect Toyo Ito, best known for his sophisticated interpretation of nature through organic geometries, this distinctive development is inspired by nature.
Singapore's largest private property developer, Far East Organization, has several properties on Orchard Road, including the company's ultra-luxury Inessence residences. They include Alba at No 8 Cairnhill Rise, with 50 units; Skyline @ Orchard Boulevard at Angullia Park with 40 units; and Boulevard Vue at Cuscaden Walk, with 28 units.
Far East Organization also has a lifestyle brand called Far East SOHO. The Scotts Tower, a 31-storey development on Orchard Road, consists of 231 SOHO apartments and expansive landscaped gardens.
'Far East SOHO is a timely and dedicated movement that we believe will appeal to the aspirations of new Generation Y buyers who yearn to have their own place and greater personal control,' says Chia Boon Kuah, chief operating officer (property sales) and executive director of Far East Organization.
In the heart of prestigious District 11, City Developments' Buckley Classique is an exclusive 64-unit freehold development infusing the past and present to form a rich blend of heritage and modernity. The developer is also the name behind One Shenton at Marina Bay, an energetic, oceanfront garden city by the bay.