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Redditors doubt MOS Tan’s claim on family offices’ minimal impact over property market

Redditors questioned MOS Alvin Tan’s claim in May last year that Singapore-based family offices minimally affect the private housing market, citing transparency concerns and disputing assertions that overlook their influence.



Redditors expressed scepticism regarding Minister of State (MOS) for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan’s assertion in May last year, where he claimed that family offices based in Singapore have had minimal impact on the city-state’s private housing market.

They questioned the transparency and accuracy of the minister’s claim, raising concerns about the potential influence of family offices and individual investors on housing prices, and disputing assertions that downplay their impact.

Singapore’s steps up scrutiny on family offices

On Monday (11 March), Tokyo-based media outlet Nikkei Asia published an article highlighting Singapore’s heightened scrutiny of Chinese wealth entering the city, including rejections of applications to establish family offices, following the city-state’s major crackdown on the S$3 billion money laundering case in August last year.

According to the report, since January, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has denied two family office applications with Chinese-affiliated wealth.

Individuals from China seeking to establish family offices in Singapore reportedly face increased scrutiny this year, with investigations extending to factors such as the number of passports held by applicants and any mainland regulatory actions affecting associated entities, potentially impacting Singapore’s anti-money laundering efforts.

In a statement to Nikkei Asia, MAS acknowledged past rejections, noting that these occurred even before the money laundering scandal, although specific figures or a breakdown of applications by nationality were not provided.

The scrutiny on Single-family offices (SFOs) in Singapore has intensified after an investigation revealed possible connections between one or more of the accused in the S$3 billion money laundering case and the establishment of an office that received tax incentives, as revealed by MOS for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan in Parliament on 3 October 2023.

The Nikkei report also brought attention to MOS Tan’s statement during a Parliament session in May last year, where he stated that “family offices themselves have had virtually no impact on our private housing market as there was no residential property transaction attributable to family offices over the last six years.”

Scepticism surrounds MOS Tan’s assertion on family offices’ impact on the private housing market

In response to the Nikkei article, a Redditor expressed scepticism towards MOS Tan’s claim, stating disbelief that Chinese-affiliated family offices have no impact on Singapore’s private housing market.

He emphasized that family offices serve as a means to transfer funds out of China, suggesting that individuals must find ways to utilize these funds for property purchases once they are in Singapore.

Redditors suggest family offices usually prefer commercial properties

A comment posited that investors from family offices are favouring investments in shophouses over private housing, thus driving up rental prices.

They referenced previous reports on the surge in shophouse property prices and argued against housing as an investment due to the complexities of tenant management, contrasting this with the simpler management of retail tenants.

Another commented, ” Unfortunately this is the kind of response you can get away with when you have 90% of the seats in parliament. ”

He drew a comparison to a statement by National Development Minister Desmond Lee, suggesting that downplaying the impact of foreigners on the property market is disingenuous, as foreign renters contribute to higher rents, ultimately inflating property prices.

Another Redditor criticized the response, suggesting there’s a bit of wordplay involved.

He argued that family offices usually prefer investing in commercial properties due to their higher returns, which implies they are not significant players in the private housing market.

One comment sarcastically questioned if there’s a review of what the 1000+ family offices have contributed to the Singapore economy after receiving tax incentives.

He pondered whether if these offices are not paying more than what they’re receiving, should it be considered “raiding the reserves”?

Another Redditor echoed this sentiment, emphasizing that Family Offices must bring net positive benefits to Singapore’s society and economy.

“At the end of the day, these FOs needs to bring net positive benefits to Singapore’s society and economy. Not as a convenience for wealth individuals to launder and/or move assets.”

MOS Tan in May 2023: Foreign purchases in private property market remain low at 4%

In May last year, MOS Tan addressed questions from Workers’ Party MP Louis Chua and Progress Singapore Party Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai in Parliament.

MP Louis Chua queried the aggregate value of wealth inflows into Singapore over the past five years.

MOS Tan responded that MAS lacks comprehensive data on fund inflows through family offices, “Such detailed data is not necessary for MAS to carry out its functions of ensuring macroeconomic and financial stability.”

When MPs requested a breakdown of wealth inflows by source countries, MOS Tan referred to the Asset Management Survey, stating that data is available by regions rather than specific countries.

“This is no different from surveys published by financial sector authorities or industry associations in major wealth management centres like London, Hong Kong and Switzerland. ”

“What we are providing on the regional breakdown for non-retail individual clients in fact goes beyond what these other jurisdictions publish as they do not put out data on specific categories of investors like individual investors.”

MOS Tan highlighted the Asia Pacific region as the top source for the increase in Singapore’s assets under management for high-end individual investors from 2017 to 2021.

Regarding the impact of family offices on inflation and the private property market, MOS Tan stated that while some foreign funds flow into the private property market, purchases by foreigners have been relatively low, averaging about 4% of all private residential property purchases over the past three years.

“More specific to Mr Leong’s question, family offices themselves have had virtually no impact on our private housing market as there was no residential property transaction attributable to family offices over the last six years,” said MOS Tan.

Chinese investors drive spike in Singapore’s conservation shophouse transaction, prices surpass $7,000 psf

Earlier in 2023, There have been indicators that suggest the obvious signs of the influx of the influx of ultra-wealthy families from overseas, particularly from China to Singapore.

Despite Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) denial claims that the city-state is set to attract nearly 3,500 high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) with a net worth exceeding US$1 million to become citizens this year, the local economy has since felt the impact of the influx of these HNWIs, such as the rising demand and property values.

According to, these wealthy Chinese buyers even eyeing conservation shophouses in the CBD and Chinatown, driving the transaction to spike above $7,000 psf.

Last month,  The Business Times (BT) reported that  Zhang Ying, wife of Alibaba Group co-founder Jack Ma acquired three adjacent shophouses on Duxton Road for a sum between S$45-50 million.

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They are (always) right !!!
What’s MINIMAL ?
It’s up to them to define.
To them 90% can also be MINIMAL.

indeed very true without ABSD and SSD for conservation shophouses, price of these has risen madly and there is always capital appreciation. spore is now known to be a tourism country and eating is always a must and there is a spike in F&B operators hoping to survive albeit paying crazy high rent. some shophouse agents been making millions annually as proven in the recent convention of a large agency many newbies agent are jumping into shophouses sale and rental since one transaction of easily 10 mill will rake in 2% commission not to mention F&B tenancy of one month… Read more »

Liars. Loong said he welcome rich pple here to create jobs.
WTF family officers here for. Help hawkers businesses?
All PAP LIARS exposed.

Who has that kind of money..??


No need to think so hard.

SQ & TR (Scoot ) together flies to 21 cities in China.
That is more than to USA/India combined.


Because that is where the people have the money to buy.

“Family offices have minimal impact over property prices”, … is the very kind of statement that compliments “affordability of hdb flats have improved” !!!

Holding your hands down a “misleading” path, … and then saying, you must always do your own research and “buyer beware” !!!

The men and women in white with lightning strikes of statements and spins, are able to say as they please, … as they’ve never been held to account and there ain’t a proper “free press” in SillyPore, to physically, robustly and aggressively challenge and counter such statements !!!

It is what it is !!!

Hong kan lah, family office type buy luxury condo, commercial asset and GCB ,the latter if got new citizen or ‘special permission’ to buy ,where got anything to do with the local low ses, low class peasants, loser oppo type ,like these kind here of ppl ,buying low ses HDB property????
The most the family offices push the condom…err…condo prices, the higher ses kind, up a few notch nia….what has it got to do with the local low ses kind of properties….AND THE LOW SES KIND OF LOCAL SINKIE?????😆😆😆🤣🤣🤣🤣

What a big joke of the century? There are at least 1400 family offices. Just the 5 rogue Fujian gang family offices and it’s kakis of over 10 arrested already pushed up many residential sales and rentals into record high never heard before. Add in those shophouses and offices bought for $30m to $100m each by this Fijian gang, it’s mind blogging amount of money. Already the market shaken due to this 5, let alone all the 1400 family offices. Then if these Family Offices have no impact on property prices, might as well stop all of them from coming… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Singapore Fooled Again n Again

A very simple rule of thumb to DEMOLISH all these PAP con tricks – when they say yes it MEANS NO. When it means NO it’s a Yes, but very seldom this way bcz DEEP DEEP lying inside the PAP, most of their issues answers and subjects ARE ALWAYS 2 fold, one is for sheeps, one is ownself keep, strategic reasons which is their trademark default.