News: Property market broadly stable but faces risks: Government

Dec 3, 2019

The government says it will continue to play an active role for the sake of market stability.

Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee stated that he believes that the property market is now broadly stable, but cautioned that risks from geopolitical tensions and trade rows could still affect the sector.

During the 60th anniversary dinner of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) on 2 December, the Minister said private housing prices now seem to be moving in line with economic fundamentals compared to the first half of 2018, reported The Straits Times.

Lee also said that concerns over uncertainties, such as the China-United States trade conflict and Brexit, could attract capital inflows into Singapore’s property market, given the city state’s status as a safe haven.

“These are signs that the market is not overly exuberant, but growing at a more sustainable pace. But we should also be clear-eyed on the global outlook, which remains uncertain,” he noted.

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Share of foreign buyer transactions low: Lee

“At this point, the share of transactions by foreigners remains stable and low, accounting for 5 to 6% of total transactions over the past three quarters,” Minister Lee noted.

He emphasised the importance of having the property market remain sustainable and stable, because of the direct impact it has on the aspirations and lives of Singaporeans, adding that government intervention, such as the additional cooling measures in 2018, is needed to maintain this market stability.

“We cannot take a hands-off approach to the property market, because our experience here and abroad has shown that left to itself, (the market) tends to go through large price swings, which harms genuine home buyers and homeowners,” Lee said.

However, Mr Lee also said that private developers can also play their part by pacing out launches in phases to meet buyers’ demand, in view of the news of large supply overhang in the market.

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Developers showing concerned: Redas president

Chia Ngiang Hong, Redas president, said developers are concerned over the market situation of high supply and subdued demand.

He added that they must be more proactive in setting up dialogue with the government and “together help shape policies which are pro-enterprise and pro-business”.

Chia also said that developers should also “look into the future” by developing projects that address climate change, including making green buildings a priority and producing engineering solutions to reduce the impact of climate change.

 

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email [email protected]

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