Foreign buying and speculation in property market has shrunk: Khaw

Since aggressive cooling measures to deter foreigners from buying Singapore property were implemented, their numbers have fallen to 330 in the third quarter of this year, making up 7 per cent of private property transactions.

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Here is the transcript of the speech in Parliament:

Oral Answer by Ministry of National Development on cooling measures' effects on foreign ownership in property market

Question By: Mr Christopher de Souza

Mr Christopher de Souza to ask the Minister for National Development:

(a) Whether the 2012 and 2013 rounds of cooling measures have dampened demand from foreign buyers and reduced their speculation in the private property market; and

(b) What can be done to ensure a predictable regulatory regime, beyond ad hoc cooling measures, to regulate foreign ownership in Singapore's property market in order to create sustainable property prices.


The cooling measures have, as intended, dampened foreign demand and reduced speculation. Since 2011, foreign buying in our private housing market has shrunk, both in proportion and in absolute numbers.

The proportion of purchase by foreigners has fallen from 17 per cent in 2011 to 7 per cent in the third quarter of 2013. Over the same period, the number of purchases by foreigners has fallen from about 1,400 per quarter to 330 in the third quarter of 2013.

As for property speculations, sub-sales as a proportion of all private housing transactions has dropped from 7.6 per cent in 2011 to 4.6 per cent in the third quarter of 2013. In absolute numbers, sub-sale transactions have fallen from about 670 per quarter in 2011 to 181 in the third quarter of 2013.

Our priority is to support home ownership for Singaporeans. This is reflected in our policies. Only citizens are allowed to buy new HDB flats and provided grants to purchase resale HDB flats. Almost all landed housing can only be purchased by Singaporeans. The private condominium market allows foreigner buying and the cooling measures have moderated their impact. The resultant trend is encouraging but we continue to closely monitor the market and will not hesitate to act further when necessary.