SINGAPORE - The number of private homes in Singapore bought by Chinese citizens in the first nine months of this year has fallen to half the figure for the same period last year. Malaysians and Indonesians - the other two major groups of foreign home buyers - have seen smaller declines.
Knight Frank's analysis, based on URA Realis caveats data on Oct 19, shows that, in all, Chinese citizens picked up 1,066 private homes in Singapore in the first nine months of 2012, down 48 per cent from 2,046 units in the same period last year.
Along with the smaller Chinese contingent in the Singapore property market, their buying patterns have also changed.
"Chinese buyers used to be more active in the prime districts 9, 10 and 11 prior to the introduction of the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) - with 17 per cent of the total number of homes picked up by China buyers (comprising both Singapore permanent residents and non-PRs) in 2009 located in these three districts.
"The proportion declined to 15 per cent in 2010, 12 per cent last year and only 10 per cent in the first nine months of 2012," said Knight Frank's research head Png Poh Soon.
Similarly, Chinese buyers were much more active in District 15 (which covers the Katong and Meyer Road areas) prior to 2012. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, 11 per cent, 14 per cent and 11 per cent respectively of the number of private homes they bought in Singapore were in District 15.
This figure dropped to 7 per cent in the first nine months of 2012.
And taking the mid-market Districts 14, 15 and 16 together, Knight Frank found that, prior to 2012, they accounted for a higher proportion of purchases by Chinese buyers compared with Districts 18, 19 and 23, which are mass-market locations. District 18 includes Tampines and Pasir Ris. District 19 covers Serangoon, Hougang and Punggol, and District 23 Hillview, Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang.
However, the situation reversed in the first nine months of this year, when a higher proportion of properties bought by Chinese citizens were in Districts 18, 19 and 23 (33 per cent) than in Districts 14, 15 and 16 (21 per cent).
District 14 includes locations such as Geylang and Eunos; District 16 includes places such as Bedok, Upper East Coast Road and Kew Drive.
Chinese buyers have been drawn to new launches that have been progressively released this year in Districts 18, 19 and 23, particularly those near MRT stations and amenities.