Singapore overtakes Hong Kong as the most expensive Asia-Pacific city for private homes

31/5 2023 11:30

Singapore’s private homes are now the most expensive in Asia-Pacific, having overtaken Hong Kong, according to a new report.

Data from the Home Attainability Index from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Asia Pacific Centre for Housing showed the median price of Singapore’s private homes was $1.2 million in 2022, compared to Hong Kong’s $1.16 million.

Private rental homes in Singapore also had the highest monthly rent in the region at $2,600 — “far exceeding” other cities such as Sydney, Melbourne and Hong Kong, according to the report. 

The report drew on government statistics from 45 cities in nine markets in Asia-Pacific — while measuring home attainability for both home ownership and home rentals in relation to the median income of households. 

Home prices in Hong Kong “dropped substantially” in 2022, ULI said, citing the significant increase in mortgage interest rates as Hong Kong keeps pace with the U.S. Federal Reserve.

In October, Hong Kong’s home prices plunged to a five-year low as interest rate hikes pushed up borrowing costs. 

Earlier this month, Hong Kong’s monetary authority raised the base interest rate to 5.5%, after the U.S. central bank hiked the fed funds rate to 5% to 5.25%.

The ULI report said “a net outflow of population” and “less optimistic view” on the local property market also brought Hong Kong’s median home price down by 8.7% — from 2021′s $1.27 million to about $1.16 million in 2022. 

Meanwhile, Singapore’s private homes overtook Hong Kong’s as the most expensive in Asia-Pacific, with the median price increasing over 8% in the past year, said the report.

Just last month, Singapore raised taxes for property purchases amid concerns that surging prices “could run ahead of economic fundamentals.”

In a new round of cooling measures, the Singapore government said local and foreign buyers of residential properties will have to pay higher taxes, known locally as additional buyers’ stamp duties. 

However, the report added that Hong Kong’s private homes are still the most expensive on a per square meter basis — costing $19,768 and “well over twice” the median figures for Singapore, Shenzhen and Beijing.