Singapore has been ranked as Asia’s third most expensive city to secure luxury property revealed the latest Julius Baer Lifestyle Index.
The report which also revealed that Singapore has been ranked as Asia’s second most expensive city to maintain an upscale lifestyle, said that it rose one spot in the rankings partly due to the stronger Singapore dollar and an improvement across the board in price rankings of luxury goods and services.
“Our basket of goods and services in Singapore rose by 5.4% y/y in USD terms, led by strong price increases in golf club membership (+26.1%) and hotel suite (+11.8%). As our country club no longer issues new memberships, prices were driven by the auction market, resulting in its rise. Overall, Singapore’s performance was a better result than the index’s +2.9%.
On a price-weighted basis, Singapore is now the second most expensive city in Asia. Unsurprisingly, it is the most expensive city to purchase a car, owing to heavy levies and duties on automobile purchases.
It is also the third most expensive city to secure luxury property.
Individuals looking to enjoy an evening out at a two Michelin-starred restaurant would also be forking out the highest prices in the region.
One would be hard-pressed to find a bargain in Singapore, albeit pianos (4th cheapest regionally) and jewellery (5th cheapest regionally) are relatively price competitive compared to the rest of the region.
Named the most liveable city in Asia and ranked second pertaining to ease of doing business, Singapore remains an appealing choice for both talents and investments. Yet, as an open economy, mounting pressure from the trade dispute between two of Singapore’s most important trading partners China and the US could affect Singapore’s exports.
Singapore’s economy is projected to grow at a pace of 3.0% in 2018 and slow to 2.5% in 2019. Consumer prices will be boosted by increasing energy prices, from a projected 1.0% in 2018 to 1.5% in 2019.
We have a neutral view on the Singapore dollar shorter term but are bullish longer term. In the short run, a strengthening USD, worsening trade spat and China’s economic slowdown will be a drag on the SGD. However, in the longer term, we believe strong fundamentals and greater economic productivity will support the SGD.”
The report by Julius Baer comes that Singapore is the third most expensive city to secure luxury property comes after Knight Frank’s 3rd Quarter 2018 Prime Global Cities Index said that luxury property prices in Singapore surged to become the world’s fastest appreciating market globally.
The Knight Frank report said that in the last year, the price of a luxury property increased by 2.7% on average across the 43 cities it tracked and that this represents the index’s weakest performance in annual terms for almost six years.
Luxury property prices in Singapore leads the index with prime prices up 13% over the 12-month period.
The luxury property prices increase is driven by the limited availability of prime properties and a strong market outlook in the first half of 2018. The research noted that Hong Kong and Singapore, Asia’s two premier cities, have traded places in the luxury property prices tracking index last year.
“Both cities saw cooling measures introduced over the summer months and, although the rate of annual price growth in Hong Kong has already slowed to 5.5%, Singapore may not be far behind with its quarterly growth weakening to 1.7% in the third quarter of 2018,” said the research.
The same Knight Frank research said Europe’s performance is mixed compared with a year ago. Some European cities are still performing strongly (Edinburgh and Madrid), others have swapped spectacular for steady (Berlin and Paris), whilst for a few, price growth remains in negative territory (London and Dublin).
In London, the ability to secure luxury property improved with luxury property prices dipping 2.9% in the last year as uncertainty around Brexit continued.
“This trend has been exacerbated by a growth in supply as more landlords attempted to sell their property following tax changes,” said the Knight Frank research. Adding: “The index’s headline figure of 2.7% growth conceals significant variations both within continents and even within countries.”
The rate of growth of luxury property prices has declined for three consecutive quarters and has now reached its lowest rate since Q4 2012, said Knight Frank’s research. Adding that a combination of uncertainty surrounding Brexit, rising interest rates across major economies, a tighter regulatory environment and the remnants of high supply in some markets is impinging on price growth.
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