Published September 28, 2006

Q3 share of foreign buyers rises to 24%

M'sian, Indon home buyers tie in top spot: report


THE proportion of foreign property buyers rose to 24 per cent in the third quarter, up from 22 per cent in the previous quarter, with Malaysians and Indonesians tying as top foreign buyers of property here.

Purchasers from these two countries made up 5 per cent of all buyers in Q3 with those from India making up 3 per cent and China, along with the UK, following behind with 2 per cent each.

According to a report by Knight Frank, the percentage of foreign buyers has been increasing steadily this year, up about one per cent every quarter. Foreigners were responsible for about 24 per cent of the estimated 2,000 transactions in Q3.

Nicholas Mak, director of research and development at Knight Frank, also noted that the trend for developers to suspend launches over the Ghost Month (which occured in Q3) was reversed. 'One notable phenomenon is that though developers' sales in the mass and mid-end market dropped, the number of developers' sales in the high-end market soared by about 20 per cent,' he said, adding that it indicated strong demand for properties in the high-end segment. The most prominent development launched in the quarter was The Oceanfront @ Sentosa Cove.

The proportion of foreigners buying high-end properties costing $5 million and above also increased to 5 per cent, up from 2 per cent in Q2 and 0.2 per cent in Q1.

And demand for these high-end projects spilled over into the sub-sale market with foreigners buying units from investors and speculators. Sub-sales in Q3 hit 139 transactions and Mr Mak says that 6.7 per cent of foreign buyers bought sub-sale units, while 34.8 per cent bought new units and 58.5 per cent bought resale units.

Based on preliminary data, Knight Frank estimates that the number of developers' sales in Q3 fell by 30 per cent quarter-on-quarter (q-o-q) to between 1,600-1,800 units, largely attributed to the double Ghost Month effect this year. Similarly, sales in the secondary market recorded a fall of about 13 per cent q-o-q to 2,700 units. 'This may be a sign of that the collective sales frenzy that began in early 2005 is cooling,' Mr Mak said.