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SG Posh NYC apartments luring Singapore's wealthy

Property Here - Monday, May 13, 2013

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By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

The US housing market, especially high-end condominiums in Manhattan, New York are attracting strong interest from wealthy buyers in Singapore.

According to realtors, new projects with expansive views, top-of-the-line finishes and hotel-like services are a big draw with buyers from the city-state, reported The Straits Times

While exact figures are not available, they reckon that purchases by Singapore buyers have risen tenfold in the last two years.

Compared to locals who are taking the opportunity of low interest rates and mortgages, those from Singapore always pay in cash, said the heads of some of the largest residential brokerages in New York.

Among the buyers are wealthy individuals and consortiums that purchase properties in bulk for investment, noted Pamela Liebman, President and CEO of Corcoran Group.

For instance, Sonsie Holdings at 14 Robinson Road acquired a two-bedroom apartment in Midtown East for US$2.2 million (S$2.73 million) at the end of 2011, while veteran rubber trader Oei Hong Bie bought a Chelsea condominium from Singapore Tong Teik for US$1 million (S$1.24 million) last October.

“They are attracted to the sexy properties that are going up, such as One57 in Midtown and 56 Leonard in Tribeca,” said Liebman, adding that prices range from US$1 million to US$30 million (S$37.2 million). 

“They love all-glass towers, with great views, preferably of Central Park, with hotel-like amenities and services.”

Also agreeing, Dorothy Herman, President and CEO at Douglas Elliman, said: “We have seen a steady increase of luxury buyers from Singapore over the past couple of years, snapping up anything from studios to luxury condos.”

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email