Indonesians main buyers of Singapore apartments

The Jakarta Post, Singapore

Indonesians are registered as the largest foreign buyers of high-end homes in Singapore, exceeding other traditional buyers like Malaysia and Hong Kong, a report said.

The report, which supports a recent estimate by a foreign banker in Jakarta that the number of rich Indonesian is quite big -- three million people earn an average of Rp 500 million a year -- was revealed by a Singapore developer to visiting Indonesian and Hong Kong journalists in Singapore over the weekend.

Chia Boon Kuah, the chief operating officer for retail of Far East -- Singapore's largest private developer -- quoted Business Times as saying that in 2005 foreign nationals, including permanent residents, accounted for 44 percent of transactions in the high-end property segment with a cost between S$1 million (US$ 400,000) and S$5 million.

Foreign buyers include 26 percent Indonesians, 25 percent Malaysians, 10 percent British and mainland Chinese and 9 percent Indians, Chia said.

In order to tap the lucrative market, Far East established a representative office in Indonesia two and half a years ago. The office, which is located in Jakarta's World Trade Center, coordinates marketing and promotion activities, including apartment exhibitions in Jakarta this week, and in Surabaya this month to reach out to potential customers in Indonesia's second largest city.

"The office employs eight persons and is the only representative office of a Singapore developer in Indonesia at present," said Eindrata Tanukusuma, sales and marketing manager of Far East representative office for Indonesia.

Buyers of Far East's apartments, according to Eindrata, not only come from Jakarta and Surabaya, but also from Medan and small cities in Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi like Semarang, Purwokerto, Pekanbaru and Manado.

Indonesians who buy apartments in Singapore are people working for Singapore-based firms and those who do business in the island-state as well as traders, businesspeople and factory owners who send their children to study in Singapore's schools and universities.

Singapore is known not only as an affluent nation, but also for its quality education in Southeast Asia.

In order to cater to the needs of potential customers of different backgrounds, Singapore's big developers such as Far East built apartments offer wide choices to customers in view of prices and locations -- commercial and residential areas.

Orchard Scotts, one of several apartments being built by Far East apartments and built on 2.5-hectare site in the famous Orchard Road area, is designed by internally acclaimed architectural firm Arquitectonica of Miami, USA in collaboration with Ong & Ong Architects of Singapore.

This apartment is developed exclusively for Indonesia and Hong Kong markets and prices of the 387-apartment block start from S$1.36 million (US$900,000), a Far East release said.
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