Rich people in mainland China have flooded Singapore’s luxury real estate market since the relaxation of COVID pandemic control measures this year.

According to Reuters, the wealthy in China have become the top-ranked foreign buyers of expensive private properties in Singapore this year.

A new report shows that Singapore sold 425 luxury units in the first eight months this year, and mainland Chinese buyers accounted for about one-fifth.

Luxury properties are defined as costing more than $3.5 million. 

Meanwhile, Americans bought 34 luxury units and Indonesians bought 28 units.

In the first eight months, the total number of transactions by foreign buyers in Singapore has been close to the level before the COVID outbreak. 

The luxury units that Singapore sold to foreigners in those first eight months – including those with permanent residency – has surpassed the level before the COVID outbreak. 

In the same period in 2019, the number of luxury units sold to foreigners in Singapore was 282. And the figure was 322 in the same period in 2018.

Reuters cited analysts saying that Singapore has attracted the mega-rich for its stable politics, strong currency, and reputation as a safe haven to park assets for a long time. Property prices in the city-state have also tended to rise gradually, with few booms and wild busts.

Meanwhile, there is a property crisis in China where real estate sales have slumped, developers have defaulted on their debts, and consumer confidence has soured by repeated COVID lockdowns.

That’s why wealthy Chinese are snapping up luxury houses in this Southeast Asian country.

In June, a Chinese tycoon bought 20 luxury apartments in central Singapore worth a total of $59.3 million. 

There was another wealthy Chinese man who paid $41.87 million to buy four apartments in Singapore.

According to Singapore’s Urban Redevelopment Authority and property consultancy OrangeTee & Tie, the country’s property is still popular among foreigners despite tax hikes.

In December 2021, the Singapore government raised stamp duties for foreigners without permanent residency from 20% to 30%.

However, foreigners still bought 143 luxury apartments in the first eight months this year, higher than the 136 during the same period in pre-pandemic 2019.

In March Singapore announced that it would gradually relax COVID pandemic measures and return to normal life. Border controls have also been further eased to simplify entry procedures.

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