Singapore’s high-end residential market rising

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According to a report by the Singapore office of international real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, prices of private residential units in the island republic increased by 3.8% in 2005, compared with just 0.9% in the previous year.

The increase, the report said, was due to factors such as the country’s changes to property financing and foreign ownership rules; the Singapore Government’s plan to rejuvenate prime areas such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay, Shenton Way and Sentosa Island; and the two integrated resorts at Marina and Sentosa that are expected to inject “new excitement and movement” into the market.

Furthermore, the report added, the Government is implementing many initiatives under the remaking of Singapore to turn the country into an attractive “City in a Garden” for work and play. This is in the hope that many foreign talents will make Singapore the choice place to base their offices and homes.

City Developments Ltd executive chairman Kwek Leng Beng agrees that the Singapore high-end residential market is on the rebound, saying that the average price for a high-end unit was US$1,500 per square foot before the 1997 regional financial crisis.

“But now, it has increased to an average of US$1,650psf. That makes for an average increase of seven per cent per annum,” he said.

Kwek explained that as a result of the “slow-moving market” in Singapore over the last few years, there is now a pent-up demand for high-end homes.

He explained that developers were afraid to build high-end units during the recovery period because it was difficult to sell even a low- and medium-cost house. But now that the market has recovered, the city is seeing a lot of buyers, both local and foreign, inquiring about our high-end units.