Singapore luxury residences a “compelling” buy
With the property market on the mend, the time to invest is now.
Singapore's property markets didn't escape the financial crisis, but now that prices and transaction volumes have started to recover, the robust city-state has emerged as one of the most competitive global destinations for buying luxury residential property.
Research from Jones Lang LaSalle indicates that residential prices in Singapore are now more affordable than in global cities such as Hong Kong, London, San Francisco, Sydney and Tokyo.
Due to the correction in residential prices, Singapore is the only one among the top-tier cities that has become more affordable since 2010, with the home price to income ratio dropping from 7.3 to just 4.8 years in 2016.
In comparison, fellow Asian Tiger Hong Kong's ratio jumped from 11.4 to 18.1 years over the same period as incomes failed to keep pace with real estate prices. Prime home prices in Hong Kong are now 130 percent higher than in Singapore.
With housing in Singapore becoming more affordable across the board, it is the high-end properties that offer the biggest rewards. Prime home prices in Singapore fell by 20 percent since 2010, while prices in London and New York – both within 10 percent of Singapore prices in 2010 – rose by 20 to 25 percent.
Rising foreign demand
Another factor that has boosted demand for premium properties is the influx of skilled workers from abroad.
With the relaxation of the tight manpower policy in late 2015 following immigration curbs from 2012 to 2015, the number of foreign workers entering Singapore has been on the rise. This has led to a greater demand for office and retail space, as well as prime residential property.
Foreign purchases for units above S$2,000 per square foot doubled in 2016 after dropping 80 percent since 2010, with buyers from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia increasing threefold year-on-year.
A positive outlook
"Our outlook for the Singapore property market in the coming years is a positive one," says Regina Lim, National Director of Advisory and Research at JLL Singapore.
"Transactions of luxury residential units doubled in 2016 and prices for this segment have risen mildly. Buyers see Singapore’s luxury residential properties as compelling given the competitive pricing.
"We expect transaction volume and prices to continue to recover from 2017 to 2020."
Singapore's most sought after luxury residences are those equipped with amenities and transport links and that are within easy reach of the Central Business District.
Luxury condominium in Singapore: Sophia Hills
One new development that aims to satisfy this demand is Sophia Hills, a joint venture between leading Singapore property developer Hoi Hup Realty, Sunway Developments and SC Wong Holdings.
This 493-unit luxury condominium is located just minutes from the prime shopping district of Orchard Road and is within easy reach of Marina Bay and the Central Business District, as well as top schools and colleges. This makes it ideal for professionals with families, as well as investors looking for a property in a prestigious location.
The Sophia Hills development combines modern luxury condo amenities with heritage buildings that have been carefully restored and repurposed. Units of various sizes are available for purchase ahead of the project's expected completion in late 2018.