Mar 1, 2012

The number of permanent residents (PRs) buying landed homes in Singapore fell in 2011, as tough measures discouraged them from entering that segment of the real estate market.

According to latest figures released by DTZ Research, PRs acquired 109 landed homes in 2011, down 53.6 percent from the 235 homes purchased in 2010. This means that PRs only contributed 3.4 percent of total transactions in the landed housing market last year, compared to the 5.4 percent share in the preceding year.

It is now harder for PRs to acquire landed property in Singapore, as strict criteria under the Residential Property Act prevents them from acquiring such a property type if they already own a condo unit. The government tightened the rules last year and at the time, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that the number of approved applications was expected to decline by more than half.

Meanwhile, many experts believe the PR share in the landed housing market is being hit by two forces – the tougher criteria for obtaining approvals and the government’s tighter immigration policy.

Chua Chor Hoon, Research Head at DTZ Asia Pacific, said that while tougher criteria cuts down the number of PR buyers, the number of PRs in the country also fell by 1.7 percent year-on-year, or around 9,000 as of June last year. This came on the back of lengthened residency requirements for PRs and stricter eligibility requirements for obtaining homes.

William Wong, Managing Director of RealStar Premier Group, noted that the number of PRs viewing landed homes dropped by more than 50 percent, possibly due to their awareness of the tighter regulations.

“While PRs used to get approval for landed property of 13,000 sq ft to 15,000 sq ft in the past, they are being advised to buy smaller homes of about 10,000 sq ft now,” he said.

Info courtesy - PropertyGuru.com.sg