Singapore’s real estate market booming on rising number of Chinese buyers


Singapore’s property market is showing much greater resilience than others around the world despite concerns over slowing economic growth both regionally and globally.

One of the reasons for this is the influx of Chinese nationals, who make up the largest number of non-resident buyers in Singapore.

The island nation is considered politically stable and free from natural disasters and its real estate is seen as a wise investment by many around the world. Singapore’s relative stability compared to its regional peers, along with its attractive income tax rates, apparently makes the heavy tax on foreigners with property worth paying.

According to Singapore-based real estate agency platform OrangeTee & Tie, mainland Chinese bought 391 condominiums in the city-state in the second quarter of 2022, up from 281 in the first quarter.

The numbers are down from last year – 467 in Q2 and over 400 in Q3 and Q4. The decline in sales to Chinese citizens in the first quarter of 2022 was attributed to the rise of the Omicron variant and its impact on regional travel.

Why are wealthy Chinese investing in the Singapore property market?

Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, told the South China Morning Post that Chinese citizens buying in Singapore mainly focus on the luxury real estate market. More and more wealthy Chinese are buying real estate, often newer luxury apartments, Sun told the newspaper.

According to FinancialTimes, Chinese tycoons are leaving en masse after enduring political crackdowns, severe Covid lockdowns and unease about Beijing’s global reputation. With little end to the Covid-19 lockdowns in sight – as of September 6, around 12% of China’s total GDP was affected by Covid controls on a weighted basis – many wealthy people are looking for new places to live and do Business.

Why Singapore?

Anecdotal reports suggest that wealthy Chinese are pouring into Singapore’s hotels and beach estates. The city-state is reportedly becoming the top destination for Asia’s wealthy, overtaking Hong Kong after Beijing asserted its authority over the former British colony.

Singapore, which was a British colony for 144 years until 1959, became a low-tax business hub in the late 20th century. It had become a destination for many Chinese tycoons to protect their money there in offshore funds, but with China’s rise, few had sought to emigrate to the island state.

Additionally, Singapore has long been a preferred destination for establishing a regional headquarters to seek business opportunities in ASEAN and Asia. This has been attributed to the country’s favorable tax and legal regimes, allowing the city-state to develop into a leading global financial center and attracting over 37,000 international companies and 7,000 multinational companies.

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