33% Private Property Buyers are Foreigners and PRs


When Straits Times reported on the research by DTZ, it said:

“FOREIGN home buyers snapped up 16 per cent of all private homes sold in the first quarter – the highest quarterly percentage since data became available in 1995.”

We all are familiar by now that when the government and the media use the term “foreigners”, they mean “foreigners who aren’t PRs”. See our previous post on the difference between “locals” and “citizens“.

If you read the actual DTZ report, which analysed the transactions of private homes in Q1 2011, you will see this:

“Although Singaporeans continued to make up the majority of purchasers, their share decreased to 67% in the quarter from 70% in Q4 2010. This is the lowest proportion recorded since Q4 2007 when Singaporeans made up 66% of all purchasers”

This implies 33% of buyers of private homes are PRs and foreigners. One-third.

There’s also a curious footnote on page 5 of the DTZ report:

“Unless specifically stated, the term ‘foreigner’ mentioned throughout the report does not include Singapore Permanent Residents (SPR).”

PRs are such a special group in Singapore.

Ok, so much for private property. In the meantime, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has blogged about the buyer profile of HDB resale flats. He revealed that 20% of resale flat buyers are PRs. One-fifth.

So, non-citizens form one-third of private home buyers and one-fifth of resale flat buyers.

One-third and one-fifth.

When our population hits 6.5 million as proposed by former MND minister Mah Bow Tan, will the respective ratios become one-half and one-quarter?


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  1. One 95.8(Chinese Language Radio Station) advertisement ends with the words ‘foreigners are not barred from purchase’.
    The 33% share in the properties in Sin could very well swell manifolds soon.
    Where does this leave Singaporeans?

  2. Looking back in history, you will also notice that when foreign buying is at its highest (% of total units), it also signifies the peak of the market. See 2007, 1996/7

    So don’t be so glum.

    Our PAP govt loves to bring in foreigners while not having enough flats to house them until it is too late. The property markets in the 93-96 and 2005-10 were both fuelled by ultra-hi population growth (2.5-5% pa)

    Historically (past 40 yrs), Indonesians and Malaysians accounted for 30-50% of the transactions of prime D9,10 properties. As it was confined to the hi-end sector, the majority Singaporeans didnt give a damn.

  3. GetAClueSinkapore on

    Get a clue. In every other country, be it australia, canada and the UK, PRs are considered locals and not foreigners.

    Sinkaporeans stop trying to blame PRs and foreigners for the ‘troubles’ that you are currently experiencing now and go harden up. PM Lee, maybe extending national service up to 4 years for men and 2 years for women might be able to harden them up.

  4. Of course. The government should also allow PRs and foreigners to vote too. Citizens should just shut up and obediently serve NS or just die quietly. They only have themselves to blame for not being talented enough, and not being cheaper, better and faster, and not producing enough babies.

  5. unfair comparison on

    it’s unfair to compare with other countries. in singapore, PR is given away like toilet paper to people like zhang yuan yuan, whereas in other countries PRs are usually people with very good skills and/or bring in investments. further, male singapore citizens gotta serve NS for 2 years (used to be 2.5 years of the older generation).

  6. of course unfair on

    of course it’s unfair to compare… just like the ministers – they say it’s impossible for them to work as political leaders in other countries, so we shouldn’t benchmark minister salaries against other countries. good argument!

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