Tag Archives: Housing policies

Property market may see major changes

The property market may see some radical changes in the coming months, according to analysts.

They say the newly sworn-in Cabinet is expected to carry out extensive review of current housing policies.

This may include a review of the government land sales programme and moderating home prices.

However, some analysts say the population must continue to grow, otherwise the housing market will risk an oversupply situation in the next three years.

The new Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan has pledged to make the HDB flat a popular icon again, and market watchers are waiting for the government’s thorough review of housing policies, which they expect will take place between six and 12 months.

The review to increase the income ceiling for HDB flats, which started in early May, kicked off the process.

Patrick Liew, chief executive officer, HSR Property Group, said: “Increasing the income ceiling is a two-edged sword … because you are transferring some of the demand from the private sector to the public sector, we need to look at the supply side.

“We need to decrease the supply of land for private residential development and maybe increase the development in the public sector.”

But housing supply remains a hot issue among analysts.

According to estimates, there will be 41,400 public and private housing units to be completed by year 2014.

And analysts forecast that only about 33,000 units will be taken up in the next three years, based on an annual take-up rate of 11,000 units.

Analysts say population growth needs to increase by 1.8 per cent annually to maintain a healthy take-up rate.

For now, market watchers are not expecting new immigration policies soon, as they were tightened just over a year ago.

They warn that an oversupply in housing may limit property price growth.

But they are confident that future housing policies will prevent a large price correction as well.

Liang Thow Ming, head of residential services, Credo Real Estate, said: “I don’t think the government is working towards a huge correction. A huge correction is not in anybody’s favour, especially in a situation like Singapore, where the majority of us are house owners.

“A huge correction will impoverish a good part of Singapore and I don’t think the government wants to see that happening.”

Market watchers say they are hoping for more details about foreign workers in Singapore, as they say this will help them monitor the impact on property demand.

Source : CNA – 23 May 2011

Property cooling measures hit home-buying decisions

The Government’s measures to cool the exuberance in Singapore’s property market have started to affect home-buying decisions, according to property website iProperty.com’s 2011 Consumer Property Sentiment Survey.

Some 59.2 per cent of respondents say they are affected by the measures and are either modifying their property buying, selling or renting decisions, or are halting plans to buy or sell for now.

Still, the survey shows that 58.4 per cent of the respondents either do not think that or are undecided whether the measures will succeed in cooling the market.

In fact, 58.7 per cent of the respondents do not think that the measures are sufficient to stabilise public housing prices and have voiced their hopes for more to be done to improve the situation.

Mr Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of The iProperty.com Group, said: “Housing policies and other property-related issues are arguably one of the key buzz topics of the upcoming General Election. From this survey, there are indications that Singapore home buyers are looking forward to additional measures to bring about significant changes in the policies governing the local property market, so as to further cement their decision-making process.”

The online survey was conducted from Dec 27 last year to Feb 25 this year and 470 people participated. Comprising mostly Singaporeans, permanent residents and expatriates, the majority of respondents were aged 25 to 54 years. More than half currently have plans to purchase or rent their next property.

In addition, in light of recent debates on housing policies amid election campaigning, a quick online poll was conducted over a one-week period from April 28 to gauge public response. The survey shows that over 50 per cent of the 104 respondents are hoping for more affordable housing by way of lower prices for new flats and a re-evaluation of asset enhancement policies, iProperty.com said.

Source : Today – 6 May 2011