The past couple of yeas have been good years for the Singapore property market, until the recent “cooling” measures taken by the Singapore government. This article serves as an update to those already in the Singapore Property Market or are looking to enter the market.
Some analysts noted that while the market has remained resilient despite government’s cooling measures, it seems to be near the tipping point. A recent report by UBS predicts that home prices in Singapore might fall between 10 to 15 per cent in the next 12 months.
There may be a couple more valid reasons for the gloomier prospects:
1) The uncertainty in Singapore’s economic growth due to the global situation
2) The slowing population growth as the government moves to tighten immigration laws.
These factors could cause foreign buyers to stay away, dampening the resale market activity.
The other school of thought is that of property agents who may have a stronger feel of the market than research analysts. Sales for the first half of 2012 alone shifted 11,928 units. Mass market homes dominated sales in the quarter with 3,737 units or 69.2 per cent of new home sales recorded in the Outside Central Region (OCR). The top selling mass-market projects were Ripple Bay, Flo Residence and Palm Isles shifting 568, 324 and 306 units respectively.
The reason could be as follows: Implementation of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duties (ABSD) in December 2011 had caused foreigners to stay away from prime areas. Since its implementation, a sharp reduction in foreign demand for private residential properties was observed. This in turn, made properties in the suburban mass market segment more appealing to HDB (Housing Development Board) upgraders who buy with a longer term perspective.
Looking ahead, the record supply in the pipeline could further help to alleviate any pent-up demand in the Outside Central Region, thereby preventing spikes in property prices. In the mid to long term, strengthening global economies would also boost investor sentiment, leading to a gradual recovery of Core Central Region and Rest of Central Region prices.
Ultimately, the health of the Singapore property market hinges on the purchasing power of Singapore citizens. As long as proper measures are taken by the relevant authorities to prevent shortsighted investments from leading the market, coupled with an absence of declining long-term global outlook, the Singapore property market is definitely a good way to go for growing financial wealth.