Singapore’s private homes have surpassed Hong Kong’s as the most expensive in Asia Pacific with a median price of $1.20 million per unit, according to research by the Urban Land Institute.
Homes in Hong Kong cost an average of $1.16 million, followed by those in Sydney ($980,000) and Melbourne ($716,000), with Shenzhen and central Tokyo rounding out the top six at about $627,000 each, as reported by the 2023 ULI Asia Pacific Home Attainability Index.
Housing stocks and home attainability vary greatly throughout APAC, said Kenneth Rhee, senior director of ULI China and the primary author of the report.
“Key factors for home attainability include demographic trends, government policies related to land use and density, the ability to redevelop or regenerate urban areas in decay, availability of financing for home purchase, the government’s involvement in the home provision, and the impact of COVID on new home supply,” Rhee said in a release.
On a per square metre basis, Hong Kong’s private housing remains the most expensive in the region at $19,768 — well over twice the collective median figure for Singapore ($10,715 per square metre), Shenzhen ($10,876), central Tokyo ($9,798), Beijing ($9,230) and Shanghai ($8,257).
In contrast, cities in India have the lowest median price per square metre of between $900 and $1,200, with the exception of Mumbai, where the median home price is $2,237 on that basis.
Using the metric of median home price as a multiple of median annual household income, Shenzhen emerges as the least affordable market with a ratio of 35.0, followed by Ho Chi Minh City (32.5), Beijing (29.3) and Da Nang (26.7). Hong Kong is next with 26.5 — considerably lower than last year’s 30.5, due to a sharp price drop.
Singapore’s HDB units continue to be affordable with a median price of 4.7 times median annual household income, with Brisbane units the only ones cheaper at 4.5.
In terms of rental housing, Singapore’s private homes have the highest monthly rent in the region at $2,596, far outpacing Hong Kong’s $1,686.
Homeownership varies significantly in the region, often a function of government policies and population migration, the ULI said. Singapore continues to have the highest homeownership rate of nearly 90 percent, thanks to the government’s commitment to enabling its citizens to own homes at reasonable prices since the country’s early years.
The ULI report explores the implications of shifts in housing demand and regional competitiveness arising from wide-ranging factors that impact home attainability, said David Faulkner, president of ULI Asia Pacific.
“Our goal at the ULI Asia Pacific Centre for Housing is to advance best practices in residential development and to support ULI members and local communities in creating and sustaining a full spectrum of housing opportunities,” Faulkner said.