Overseas buyers return to Singapore’s property market
Overseas buyers return to Singapore’s property market. Expat life in the Asian financial capital has become more difficult due to the tight approach to containing Covid-19, yet sales are increasing.
In March, one of Taiwan’s wealthiest families paid S$293 million ($217 million) for all 20 flats in a new ultra-luxury condominium project in Singapore. Many residents saw it as proof of the city’s recovery following its careful response to the outbreak.
While the deal was obviously extravagant, it indicated that foreign buyers were returning to the small but wealthy Asian city-main state’s real estate market.
The Tsai family, which owns the Asian snack food business Want Want, bought the Eden complex in the first half of 2021, boosting sales to $10 million. According to global estate brokerage Knight Frank, this is more than four times the 28 transactions reported in the first half of 2020 and the 29 sales registered in the same period last year.
Singapore has always been a magnet for people wishing to store money in overseas property due to its stable currency, strong rule of law, and low taxes. One upcoming new launch, Lentor Modern, in 2H2022 might attract great interest. However, throughout much of 2020 and part of 2021, a tight attempt to limiting the virus — the city’s Covid-19 fatality rate is still in the double digits — hampered overseas buying.
The government made it harder for international workers to obtain visas last year. Companies with foreign staff were compelled to increase their minimum compensation to as much as S$10,000 per month, despite the fact that they were already battling with lengthy approval processes.
At the same time, many international residents who had resided in the city for years found themselves stranded abroad and unable to return owing to arbitrary travel restrictions.
This summer, an employee at a worldwide cryptocurrency company — who begged to be known only as “Henry” for fear of jeopardizing his prospects of re-entry — was stuck in the US for two months. Despite leaving Singapore while travel was permitted, Henry, a US citizen, was taken off guard when the city’s travel limits were abruptly revised in May in response to an increase in Covid-19 cases. He opted to stay in the US indefinitely in July, citing the economy’s speedier and broader recovery.
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