Property boom: Foreigners up 0.5m, S’poreans up 0.1m?


I refer to the article “Investing in commercial real estate in Singapore” (Yahoo Finance, Dec 30, 2016).

Property boom from 2008 to 2013

It states that “Many Singaporeans rode the property boom in the years from 2008 to 2013 to build a substantial level of wealth for themselves. But the last three years have been unkind to Singapore’s property market.”

Prices increased by 62%?

The URA Private Residential Property Price Index increased by about 62 per cent from 95.3 (2009 Q2) to 154.6 (2013 Q3).

Incomes increased by only 28%?

In contrast,  the Median Gross Monthly Income From Work (Including Employer CPF Contributions) of Full-Time Employed Residents – increased by only about 28 per cent, from $2,897 in 2008 to $3,705 in 2013.

And we have not even adjusted for the median gross monthly income of all Singaporean (excluding PRs) workers (full-time and part-time) excluding employer CPF contribution!

0.5m increase in foreigners vs 0.1m increase in S’poreans?

Arguably, this was fueled by the huge increase in the non-Singaporean population from about 1.6 million in 2008 to about 2.1 million in 2013 (0.5 million increase), against the about 3.2 to 3.3 million increase for citizens (100,000 increase).

And we have not even adjusted for new citizens granted during that period!

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), invited to speak more than 200 times in over 30 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of Indonesia and Brunei. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.