08 November 2006

Indonesians Buying Up Top-End Homes in Singapore

Business Times - 08 Nov 2006
22% of residential property deals are with foreign buyers
By ARTHUR SIM

(SINGAPORE) Foreign buyers now account for 22 per cent of all residential property transactions here - an increase of 24 per cent from a year ago.

According to a report by Savills Singapore, 22 per cent or 3,143 of the 14,286 homes sold in the first nine months of the year were bought by foreigners. And the full-year figure is likely to be a record high, says Savills' director of marketing and business development, Ku Swee Yong.

The report does not break down foreign buyers into nationalities - but Mr Ku says Indonesians and Malaysians account for most of the transactions. Malaysians favour mid-market homes, while Indonesians are inclined to target the top end.
And all that Indonesian money ... is it clean?

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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is the kind of news I hate. I'm an *chinese* indonesian that comes to stereotype oh-the-bloody-rich-indonesian-chinese although I come from an average family. There are many occasions where I have to explain myself to others (usually Singaporean) that I don't come from a rich family.

Imagine that people see you because of your father/mother/wealth/etc... and now because I'm an indonesian chinese, people only see me as a rich-indonesian-chinese which i wish it's true.

With this kind of news around, I'm not surprised with how people perceive me ...

ok ... enough of my rant

Anonymous said...

No wonder the private properties are so expensive in Singapore! Singapore is good for the filthy rich!

Anonymous said...

Ayah, until I see something solid, I'd rather wish to avoid conspiracy theories.

I was outraged at CSJ being sued for slander for accusing the PAP of illicit relations with Indonesia, but I really thought it was a stunt he was pulling off. I don't think it's a viable allegation to pursue.

Still, the story is of a concern, as it shows more of a foreign disparity situation more than anything else. (Then again, roughly 20% of our population aren't citizens anyway. More than 60% can't vote, and less than 25% of the total population voted in the last general election.)

Ritz said...

Yeah, Mr Wang, I am dissapointed with your comment. This kind of thing "indonesian chinese are rich" is the one who caused the riot in May 1998. The fact that there are 18K rich Indonesian in singapore should not be the basis of this idea, although it may be the fact. Everyhere in the world there are "the rich" and "the poor". I hope you are not "provocator" / racist.

Hmm, I also find that Yosef Ardi's blog and his column in "The Edge" are in similar taste.

I agree with the first anonymous that as indonesian chinese in sg, we are seen as "filthy rich". He he, I wish it is true :-) Maybe in a few years time.

Sorry, if this comment is a bit too harsh. I am oblidged to "clarify".

Mr Wang Says So said...

I work in the banking industry. I am probably more aware of international anti-money laundering concerns than you are. From 2001 to to July 2006, Indonesian was indeed regarded as a "problem nation" by the Financial Action Task Force and was listed in their blacklist.

FATF is an inter-governmental body founded in 1989 by the G7, to develop policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

Indonesia is also regarded as quite a corrupt nation. Its international ranking in this area is approximately as bad as Singapore's ranking for press freedom.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0781359.html

Of course this is not to say that all Indonesians who buy high-end properties in Singapore are corrupt - certainly not.

Anonymous said...

Who are these Indonesian Chinese trying to kid? There are PLENTY of them in Singapore, with their family and assets here too. Why try to deny it?

Those Indon businessmen know they can park their wealth here, and Singapore has no extradition agreeement with Indonesia. They will be safe.

You may be the odd poor Indonesian Chinese here in Singapore, but you are EXCEPTION and not the NORM. END OF STORY.

Don't get me wrong: I know some Indonesian Chinese friends in real life. They are rich. They are nice people.

I'm not against their wealth or their staying in Singapore per se; rather, I'm against the Singapore (PAP) government for their hypocrisy in insisting that all the money flowing into Singapore is CLEAN just as the government is CLEAN. Nonsense. They even traded with Myanmar druglords.

ichtus said...

Well, I would like to look at this from another angle. If we don't let them come in easily, and others as well. They will go somewhere else, with their wealth etc.

If we don't attract wealth constantly to Singapore, coupled with our lack of natural resources, in the longer run, Singaporeans, especially the less well-off will suffer. And who would we blame? Probably whichever govt in power then...

It's perhaps the frivilous blaming of the govt (PAP or not) for everything that pique us, makes good people think twice about joining politics. You simply can't please everyone.

Anonymous said...

Sure we can let them in, for economic reasons. After all, it's also for economic reasons that Singapore is the world's top manufacturer of landmines, when most other civilised countries have banned them.

Letting our old folks die in Johor Bahru also has very good economic reasons mah. Very expensive to look after the dying in Singapore, you know.

I pity your mother.

Hermes said...

Folks,

Let's say all that money is dirty, so, big deal? These people are smart enough to launder money and get away with it. What exactly are you unhappy about?

That they have money because they use their brains? Or that you can't do the same because your 'conscience' tells you its not right? Or that people are hypocritical, claiming to be 'clean' yet doing all these illegal things?

Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

Why can't we look at the positive side of the report and think, hey, looks like a good opportunity to invest in the Singapore property market? Maybe I should look into it with my 'clean' money, try to earn some and possibly donate some to charity if I make a killing, rather than bemoan about it everyday. That way I can serve the "greater good".

Anonymous said...

As a businessman,I rather look at the effect of Rich foreigners buying properties in Singapore by incresing the demand,you need not be an ecomonist to know that increase in demand=higher prices in most cases.

You probably also need not be an economist to know that increase in prices will result in higher operating cost for our SMEs,and that is a major factor for our corporate sector.

f course for some countires it is necessary to earn money fr foreigners for the national treasury,to pay for government expenses,but Spore is hardly in that category.

So why do we insist on selling to foreigners and increase our biz cost?

Anonymous said...

Folks,

Let's say all that money is dirty, so, big deal? These people are smart enough to launder money and get away with it. What exactly are you unhappy about?

That they have money because they use their brains? Or that you can't do the same because your 'conscience' tells you its not right? Or that people are hypocritical, claiming to be 'clean' yet doing all these illegal things?

Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

Why can't we look at the positive side of the report and think, hey, looks like a good opportunity to invest in the Singapore property market? Maybe I should look into it with my 'clean' money, try to earn some and possibly donate some to charity if I make a killing, rather than bemoan about it everyday. That way I can serve the "greater good".

Friday, November 10, 2006 10:12:46 AM

You're day dreaming, my friend, too naive! They have the money, not you. Where these money came from? That's why private properties are so expensive in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

"Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone."

I wonder if that is how Lee Kuan Yew would reply, if you asked him why the Singapore government / GLCs have been doing business with Lo Hsing Han, the Myanmar drug baron.

Anonymous said...

People, what's the big deal?

Singapore without the foreign investment would be like Melaka or Sarawak. Frankly I'd rather live in Singapore.

So rich Indonesians are buying. So property prices are going up. So why don't you take some risk and buy something?

Anonymous said...

22% of residential property deals are with foreign buyers???

So if we stop these guys we lose 22% of the demand in the market?

Anonymous said...

Oh, if you don't feel concerned, then don't feel concerned.

When FATF clamps down on MAS because laundered money from Indonesia is flushing through our local banking system into real estate, then see whether MAS is concerned or not.

Anonymous said...

"22% of residential property deals are with foreign buyers???

So if we stop these guys we lose 22% of the demand in the market?"

No lah, stooopid or what. The price for high-end properties will stabilise and become more affordable.

Anonymous said...

It's all working according to their (MIW) plan. It is of no use if these "legit biz" foreigners park their "legit money" in S'pore banks. They must "do something" with it... and that's buying properties. The higher these foreigners push up high end properties with their "legit money" the better it is to the net worth of the S'poreans elites. Their net worth increases since 2004 without having to work out a sweat.

Anonymous said...

" People, what's the big deal?

Singapore without the foreign investment would be like Melaka or Sarawak. Frankly I'd rather live in Singapore.

So rich Indonesians are buying. So property prices are going up. So why don't you take some risk and buy something?"

The sheer elitism and consumerism in this post is amazing.

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