Foreigners account for 3% of private housing transactions over past 2 years: Desmond Lee

This is lower than the pre-pandemic level of 5 per cent.

Sulaiman Daud | September 15, 2022, 06:08 PM

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Foreigners account for a "very small proportion" of private housing transactions, according to Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in his written reply on Sep. 12.

Lee was responding to a Parliamentary Question (PQ) filed by Progress Singapore’s Party (PSP) Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) Leong Mun Wai.

Leong asked whether the inflow of foreign money into the local property market has increased over the past two years, and did it push up private and public property prices.

He also asked if the government intends to introduce new policies to manage the impact of the flow of foreign money into the local property market.

Current inflow lower than pre-pandemic level

In his response, Lee wrote that over the past two years, foreigners account for around 3 per cent of all private housing transactions.

The figure was lower compared to the pre-pandemic level of 5 per cent from 2017 to 2019.

He added that foreigners are not allowed to buy HDB flats, and that the Government will continue to monitor foreign money inflow into Singapore’s property market closely and adjust policies as necessary to “promote a stable and sustainable property market”.

Prices of property to rise “only a matter of time”

Though both Leong and Lee did not mention any specific nationalities, over the past few months, Chinese nationals buying private property in Singapore have made headlines.

According to an analyst, many wealthy mainland Chinese are drawn to Singapore as it has a large Mandarin-speaking population.

Singapore is also seen as a place that has managed the Covid-19 pandemic well, especially compared to China and its harsh Zero Covid policy.

With the inflow, a property expert opined that it is "only a matter of time" for the rise in prices, given the marked increase in the number of wealthy mainland Chinese clientele searching for luxury properties here.

Top image by Keith Tan / Google Maps.