Thursday, March 22, 2012

Foreign buyers retreat as stamp duty bites

Straits Times: Thu, Mar 22
THE hefty new stamp duty imposed late last year seems to have cooled foreign demand for property here.

The share that non-permanent resident (PR) foreigners have of the private housing sector fell by about 10 percentage points this year compared with November - right before the Dec 8 measures kicked in.

In November, foreigners bought 385 units, including new sales, resales and subsales, for a 16 per cent slice of the entire market, excluding executive condominiums (ECs).

But they bought only 53 units in January and 96 units last month, giving them a market share of about 6.5 per cent, according to analysis of Urban Redevelopment Authority data by consultancy Savills Singapore. In 2010, foreign buyers comprised 12 per cent of the market, rising to a record 17 per cent last year. Sales by PRs have held steady at about 13 per cent for both 2010 and last year...

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