Singapore the 2nd-most expensive city to buy a house in 2018: CBRE

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su
FILE PHOTO: Reuters/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE — For the second year running, Singapore was ranked the second-most expensive city in the world in which to buy a house in 2018, according to the latest Global Living report by real estate firm CBRE released on Wednesday (10 April).

The report, which compared investment residential properties across 35 global cities, ranked Hong Kong as the world’s most expensive city in which to buy a house, with the average property price there a staggering US$1,235,220 (S$1,675,250).


Singapore’s average property price is USD$874,372 (S$1,185,860), ahead of third-placed Shanghai (US$872,555) and fourth-placed Vancouver (US$815,322). All the top four cities remained unchanged compared to last year’s report. The values in the report are based on properties in the cities’ prime residential areas.

While Singapore’s property price is second-highest in the world, its average monthly rent is ranked 10th-highest at US$1,935 (S$2,624). New York City has the highest average monthly rent at US$2,844.

With property prices up by 1.1 per cent in 2018, Singapore was ranked 27th in house price growth last year. Barcelona recorded the highest house price growth, with 16.9 per cent.

In its report, CBRE wrote of Singapore: “It is recognised as the most technology-ready country on earth and ranks highly for education, safety, innovation, quality of life, health, transport and international trading.

“As a result of Singapore’s many positive attributes, the residential housing market has faced significant price and availability pressures in the past.”

It noted the government’s efforts to retain a balance between house prices and underlying economic fundamentals, such as introducing cooling measures, increasing stamp duty for second home purchases and lowering of loan-to-value limits.

“These new measures already appear to be having an effect; overall house price growth slowed to 0.5 per cent in Q3 2018 after a 3.4 per cent recovery in the previous quarter, and 7.4 per cent for the first half of the year,” the report said.

“It is also having a negative effect on demand in the new build sector. Despite a 21 per cent fall in construction completions in 2017 compared with the previous year, new supply is currently outstripping demand.”


On global trends, the report noted that house prices continued to grow in 30 of the 35 cities analysed. Four cities – Barcelona, Dublin, Shanghai and Madrid – saw double-digit growth.

Some of the best performing cities in last year’s report – New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Vancouver, Sydney and Melbourne – are now suffering from increasing affordability constraints, and have been pushed down the list to make room for European cities, where house price growth is still robust.

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