Singapore's Luxury Housing Market in Flux and Opportunities for Smart Buyers

Singapore's Luxury Housing Market in Flux and Opportunities for Smart Buyers

The luxury housing market in Singapore has been fluctuating since the government doubled the stamp duty for many foreign buyers last April. Despite high real estate prices, this market shift offers opportunities for savvy investors.

In April 2023, Singapore increased the stamp duty for foreign buyers from 30% to 60%, and by 3% to 5% for secondary property purchases. This Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) may cause foreign buyers and investors to wait, especially if they are pursuing citizenship or permanent residency, which lowers the ABSD to 5% for their first home purchase. Despite cautious buying, prices have remained firm with fewer transactions. In 2023, prices in the Core Central Region, including the Central Business District (CBD), Marina Bay, and postal districts 9, 10, 11, and Sentosa Cove, rose by 1.9%, and early 2024 estimates show a 3.1% increase. The disparity in pricing expectations between buyers and sellers is affecting sales, with transactions for Good Class Bungalows a type of luxury single-family house dropping to 23, the lowest since 1996, and sales of luxury condos and apartments worth at least S$5 million also declining from 458 units in 2022 to 383 in 2023. Despite this, there is still interest in attractive projects like Watten House, a freehold low-rise condo in Bukit Timah, which saw increased luxury sales in the last quarter of 2024.

Prime Areas for Luxury Property Deals

Sentosa Cove and Postal District 4

Sentosa Cove, a gated community about 20 minutes from the CBD, is a luxury residential zone on Sentosa Island. It offers 24-hour security, manicured gardens, and a tranquil sea view environment. Foreign buyers can purchase terrace houses and villas here, which are restricted on the main island. Villas typically have four or more en-suite bedrooms, spanning 7,000 to 10,000 square feet with land areas around 8,000 square feet, selling between S$14 million and S$20 million. Apartments are spacious and often more affordable than those in prime districts on the main island, attracting expatriates and families.

Luxury condos within Sentosa Cove sold for S$5.5 million to S$6.1 million for units around 2,500 square feet, and larger units up to 5,000 square feet sold for S$8 million to S$11 million from Q1 2023 to Q1 2024. Bungalows ranged from S$13.7 million to S$36.5 million.

Postal District 4, including Harbourfront and Telok Blangah, offers competitive prices for quality waterfront or near-waterfront condos. Developments like Caribbean at Keppel Bay, Corals at Keppel Bay, and Reflections at Keppel Bay sold units around 2,500 square feet for S$4.5 million to S$4.9 million in 2023.

Core Central Region (CCR) and Central Business District (CBD)

The Core Central Region includes prestigious addresses like Orchard Road and Boat Quay. In 2023, half of the condo and apartment transactions in the CBD were between S$2 million and S$5 million. Some projects are offering special discounts as they approach ABSD remission deadlines, like Cuscaden Reserve, which saw significant sales at attractive prices in March 2024.

Resale homes in the CCR are often 30% to 35% cheaper than new projects. The CBD, known for its corporate and financial hubs, is also becoming a luxury residential area with mixed-use developments. Some units in the CBD sold for nearly 50% less in early 2024 compared to 2023. Despite high prices, developers may be open to negotiation due to subdued buying sentiment.

Singapore Marine Parade/ East Coast (District 15)

The East Coast, particularly District 15, is becoming a hotspot for luxury properties. Notably, the upcoming freehold Meyer Blue condominium in District 15 East Coast is generating interest among investors. This area offers a unique blend of city living with coastal charm, making it an attractive option for those looking for both convenience and a serene environment. With its proximity to the city and a range of amenities, Meyer Blue is set to be a prime choice for luxury buyers.

By exploring these four key areas, including the upcoming freehold Meyer Blue condominium in District 15 East Coast, savvy investors can find potential luxury property deals in Singapore’s evolving market.