Aug 2016

16 AUG: Singapore was listed ninth on Knight Frank’s Prime Global Cities Index for Q2 2016, with luxury home prices increasing by 7.9 percent in the year to June 2016.

According to the property consultancy, prime property corresponds to the top five percent of the wider housing market in each city.

Vancouver topped the list for the fifth consecutive quarter, with prices of high-end homes surging by 36.4 percent. However, price inflation in the Canadian port city is expected to slow after the British Columbia government unveiled a new 15 percent tax for foreign buyers, effective from 2 August.

Other top performers in the second quarter include Shanghai (22.5 percent), Cape Town (16.1 percent), Toronto (12.6 percent), Melbourne (11 percent) and Sydney (10.2 percent) – all of which saw annual price growth reach double figures. Also in the top ten are Tokyo, Guangzhou and Seoul.

Knight Frank noted that majority of the top ten ranking cities have been on the receiving end of new cooling measures over the past year.

In fact, the latest move by policy makers in Vancouver “to apply an additional tax for foreign buyers has mirrored some of the similar moves over the last few years in Asia-Pacific”, said Nicholas Holt, Asia Pacific Head of Research at Knight Frank.

“Hong Kong and Singapore, most notably, have added 15 percent additional buyers stamp duties, while the Australian states of Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales have also recently introduced various additional levies for foreign buyers,” said Holt.

“Conversely, liberalisation is the flip side of protectionism; whilst we have seen foreign buyers penalised in certain markets, in Vietnam and Indonesia for example, we have seen policy makers go the other way with recent moves to relax rules for non-nationals,” he added.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong has eclipsed Taipei to take the title of weakest-performing residential market. This comes as prime prices there dropped by eight percent in the year to June as supply increased and concerns over the slowdown in the local economy persisted.