Singapore’s delicate balancing act

Recently, I was invited to give a property talk at the Ministry for National Development on what the future holds for Singapore’s property market in 2012. Needless to say, I was a bit nervous on how the ministry would perceive my feedback and market outlook as the government body is responsible for formulating and implementing policies that affect the real estate sector.

Singapore is facing a conundrum – it is a favoured investment destination among high net worth individuals which has in turn pushed up property prices. Wages for Singaporeans, however, have not gone up in tandem, which has priced out some locals from getting their first leg in real estate.

It has indeed been a challenging year for the government as high property prices caused a drop in vote margin during the general election last year. Post-GE, we are now seeing a trend in an oversupply in both the private and public markets, as well as Government Land Sales (GLS) programme to ensure property prices remain sustainable.

Coupled with the various policies implemented, the concerted effort by the government has finally began to show result – the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) Private Property Index (PPI) has finally eased 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2012. This is expected to fall even more due to the Eurozone crisis, making it an excellent opportunity for investors to start property hunting, especially for prime properties as they will be the first to decline.

In the words of Warren Buffet, “Be fearful when others are greedy. Be greedy when others are fearful.”

Source: PropertyReport – 21 May 2012


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