Prime residential property in Singapore is significantly more affordable now than in the rest of the world’s best cities, according to the latest JLL report.
“Singapore ranks amongst the top global cities, together with London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Forbes named Singapore the fourth most visited city globally. Mercer ranks Singapore the top city in Asia for quality of living and the fourth most expensive city in the world for expatriates,” said Regina Lim, JLL Singapore’s National Director for Advisory and Research for Capital Markets.
Still, prime home prices here are considerably lower than those in the aforementioned markets. Prices in Hong Kong are now 165 percent higher than Singapore, while prices in New York and London were higher by 80 to 90 percent in 2015, compared to a price advantage of just 10 to 30 percent in 2010.
Lim noted that the prices of prime residential properties here fell 20 percent from their peak in 2011 by 20 percent to S$1,991 psf in Q4 2015.
Among all the asset classes in Singapore, this segment has corrected the most in the last four years. On the other hand, office, retail and industrial property prices have fallen by just four to six percent, while prices of suburban homes have dropped by 12 percent.
On real terms, prime home prices here were also more affordable in 2015 than they were in 200. Although last year’s prices were 70 percent higher than those recorded around 13 years ago, the median household income in Singapore has risen by 90 percent since then. Based on JLL’s estimates, prices are now equivalent to 5.6 years of income, versus 5.9 years in 2003.
In addition, the consultancy expects rents for such homes to rise after 2016 due to their limited supply, despite the existing the property cooling measures and sluggish transaction levels on the prime residential market.
There is also room for more growth, as rents are currently 40 percent below 2008’s levels and just eight percent above 2000’s levels. In contrast, Singapore’s median household income has risen 100 percent in the last 16 years.
Looking ahead, JLL believes there will be more opportunities to buy prime residential units in wholesale terms.
“For prime residential units completed in 2012, several developers have transferred unsold units to 100 percent Singapore-owned entities, or sold them in bulk at lower prices in 2014 to 2015. This further suppressed prices in a challenging market. We think developers could seek to sell around 1,000 units in bulk from 2016 to 2018 if the market does not improve expediently,” Lim added.
Cheryl Marie Tay, Senior Journalist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email email@example.com