The expensive Singaporean property market has suddenly surged as more affluent Chinese seek shelter there.

According to Times Finance, Chinese purchasers with permanent residency status purchased 366 private residential units in the second quarter of this year. This is a 106% rise compared to the first quarter.

Luo Jia, a middle-level manager of an unnamed company, bought a three-bedroom house this March for 100,000 yuan, or $13,700, per square meter. Currently, the cost has risen to over $70,700 per square meter for a similar apartment in the same location.

Bloomberg noted that the lion city’s private property values had defied a global downturn trend, and they increased 13% from 2021 in the third quarter. Compared to five years earlier, the average sale price of good-class bungalows has soared 46%.

The Singaporean government had tried to tame the overheating market, raising stamp duties for foreigners without permanent residency from 20% to 30%. But as Reuters reported in early October, this failed to deter foreign buyers, and the Chinese rich have continued to snap up luxury units in the country.

As per Reuters, within the first eight months of 2022, Chinese buyers led the list among purchasers of luxury condos costing over $3.5 million. Eighty-one luxury condos were traded, accounting for 19.2% of overall transactions.

Wang Yu , a real estate agent who has worked in Singapore for six years, said prices had increased rapidly. That also includes those for rent.

Citing data from Singapore’s real estate agency SRX, the Times Finance reported that Singapore’s apartment rents have increased for 26 months running as of June.

Luo Jia felt fortunate that he bought the property early; otherwise, it would have been challenging to catch up with current housing prices and rent.

Realstar Premier’s founder, William Wong, told Bloomberg that he used to sell a good bungalow on Nassim Road for less than $7 million, or $286 per square foot. That was in 2005, and those prices are now long gone. Nassim Road is the country’s most exclusive and expensive street.

Wong says, “Singapore is such a small country that every square foot is gold.”

According to the outlet, Moody’s Investors Service predicted that Singapore’s housing affordability would decline.

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