SINGAPORE: The most recent data shows that the biggest number of foreign buyers of private apartments in Singapore now come from the United States.
American buyers have ousted buyers from mainland China from the pole position they have held since 2016.
A July 20 Bloomberg article cites figures from Singapore real estate agency OrangeTee & Tie as showing that American buyers purchased 56 properties in the second quarter of 2023, while Chinese buyers only bought 51 properties.
In April, in an effort to cool the property market, stamp duties for foreign buyers were raised from 30 per cent to 60 per cent, which is the highest rate among major markets around the globe.
The high duties were imposed “to dampen both local and foreign investment demand, so as to prioritize local owner-occupation demand,” said the Ministry of National Development, also noting that “Foreigners purchasing residential property in Singapore come from a wide range of countries.”
However, due to respective free trade agreements from around ten years ago citizens from certain countries—including the US, Iceland and Norway—are given the same stamp duty treatment as Singapore citizens.
US nationals have not traditionally been buyers of Singapore property, unlike, say, the Chinese and Malaysians. Mr Nicholas Mak, the Chief Research Officer at real estate platform MOGUL.sg,, is quoted as saying that American buyers usually purchase property in their own country, or in the United Kingdom.
But since US citizens are not as affected by higher duties, they “may continue to be among the top foreign buyers in Singapore”, Bloomberg quoted Ms Christine Sun, the senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie, as saying.
She added that other foreign nationals could wait to buy property after they become permanent residents or purchase non-residential properties instead.
Two days after the higher taxes for foreign buyers was announced, Blossoms by the Park, a new condominium at Slim Barracks Rise, was launched. Among the buyers were four Chinese nationals and four American nationals.