Foreign demand for S’pore homes falls to lowest since global financial crisis

The drop in private home sales in Q1 2013 was a result of the tough property cooling measures introduced in January, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.

Resale transactions of condominiums in prime districts 9, 10 and 11 declined 61 percent to 144 units during the period. Notably, foreign buyers registered the lowest level of demand since the global financial crisis. While Singaporeans had previously come to the market’s rescue, they now seem to be stepping away due to downside risks, noted the consultancy.

Supply also fell 29 percent last quarter, based on data from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The latest measures have caused growth in capital values to decline greatly in the luxury prime market and only slightly in the typical prime market. Budget 2013 also mentioned higher taxes on luxury property “that will come into effect in 2014 and 2015, and this might have been priced into the first quarter’s weak capital value growth”.

Moving forward, Jones Lang LaSalle predicts that Singapore’s central bank may introduce stricter rules on the amount of capital banks must hold against residential mortgages. This would in turn “tighten the availability of credit and limit home price growth”.

Local and foreign home buying in the prime market is also expected to decline further following the seventh round of cooling measures and new property tax measures. Consequently, capital values of prime properties would fall by three to five percent in the next 12 months.

Source – PropGuru – 16 May 2013

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