CNBC compared median sale prices of 1-4 bedroom properties in Singapore, Seoul, Sydney and Taipei.  Singapore’s housing market came in first as the most expensive.

Housing Prices Skyrocketing in Asia-Pacific Cities

While housing prices are skyrocketing across the Asia-Pacific, homebuyers are leveraging continued pandemic-induced stimulus money to buy whatever is available.  International investors, looking for places to “park” their money, are side-by-side and/or competing with individual homebuyers.

CNBC compared median sale prices of one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom properties in Singapore, Seoul, Sydney and Taipei.  Here is a summary of CNBC’s findings.

(As a frame of reference, the median sale price in the US in July 2021 was $385,000, +10.3% y/y, according to 


Not only does Singapore have the highest cost of living among these four Asia-Pacific cities, it also has the highest housing prices:

  • Median sale price of one- to two-bedroom properties cost approximately $1.03M, according to PropertyGurufrom Jan-July 2021.
  • Median sale price of three- to four-bedroom properties came in closer to $2.5M.

Prices of three- to four-bedroom properties increased +5% y/y while prices of one- to two-bedroom properties remained relatively flat.

“Space is no longer a luxury but a necessity,” said Tee Khoon Tan, Singapore country manager with PropertyGuru.  “…three-bedders (became) a more favorable option…” primarily due to remote working.

Singapore’s larger properties increased in price by a whopping +37% y/y.

Seoul South Korea

A close second to Singapore in terms of being pricey, Seoul has generated a class of priced-out buyers now called “lightning beggars,” according to CNBC. 

Studio-type “officetels,” buildings that combine residential and commercial properties popular with singles, saw increases of +8%.

One- and two-bedroom properties with space up to 99 square meters cost a median of $855,000 as of July 1, according to Zigbag.  One-bedders under 99 square meters saw price increases of +5%.

Three- to four-bedroom properties (from 99 to 165 square meters) cost approximately $1.8M.  These larger properties saw price increases average +31% y/y.

Even though South Korea’s central bank raised interest rates within the last 2-3 weeks, the first developed economy to raise interest rates, Young-jin Ham, head of big data with Zigbang, does not “…see a price pullback within this year.  I forecast the upward trend to continue this year.”

Sydney Australia

Sydney has some of Australia’s most expensive residential properties even though, comparatively speaking, this coastal city is more affordable than other regional hot spots within Asia Pacific.

One- to two-bedroom properties cost a median price of $574,246 (+3% in the first half of 2021) as of June 1, according to Domain.  Three- to four-bedroom properties have a median price of $914,969 (+8% in the same time period).  Four-bed apartment prices leapt up to +37% y/y.

Simultaneously, price gains for two-bed houses increased +15%. Price gains for four-bed houses jumped +27%.

According to Domain’s chief of research and economics Nicola Powell, “(Price growth) reflects the changed buyer priorities, as the need for space becomes a greater priority.”

Taipei Taiwan

Taipei is the most affordable among the four Asia Pacific cities analyzed by CNBC.

According to Savills, one- to two-bedroom properties had a median cost of $473,500 as of June 2021.  Three- to four-bedroom properties came in at a median of $977,000.

Prices across the board for existing sales increased approximately +4.5% y/y while newer properties with the greatest demand saw prices more than double with an increase of +10.4%.

The more US-China trade tensions spur tech companies to move to Taiwan, the more costly Taiwan’s housing market will become.

Thanks to CNBC.







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