Singapore property price cooling will have effect, say experts
Experts on the Singapore property market believe government actions to cool property prices will have an effect on the year ahead.
Buyers formed long lines at La Fiesta showroom at Sengkang Square, Singapore last week as they rushed to beat stamp duty rises introduced on Saturday 12 January and the raising of Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty from five to seven per cent.
The tax will be imposed on Permanent Residents buying their first property and Singaporeans buying their second property. Other buyers wanted to avoid new Loan-To-Value limits from the banks. Those getting a second loan will have their Loan-To-Value limits reduced to as low as 30 per cent, depending on the loan tenure or borrower's age.
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of the Singapore-based PropertyGuru Group has told the OPP Connect Forum, “You will struggle to find anyone in Singapore now who believes that property prices here will rise this year. I think most analysts are predicting a minimum five per cent decline, but some are going further.
“Although further cooling measures were widely expected, the severity and sheer number have taken most people in the industry by surprise. The fact they were released in a 12-page statement gives you an idea of just how extensive they are.
“On a positive note, one area that will benefit is overseas property investments by Singaporeans. They've just become even more attractive.”
Harn Ho, from Singapore and UK-based property market analysis specialists VoltaireConsulting.com, says despite the cooling measures, private investors are still want to invest.
"The Singapore government has again demonstrated its will to act when signs of rapidly rising property prices continue, in its most comprehensive set of cooling measures to date.
“The limited supply of land, high liquidity rates, low unemployment and low interest rates continue to spur interest in private property investment in Singapore, despite six previous rounds of cooling measures since house prices went on the upward trend since 2009.”
Harn says around 80% of housing in Singapore is public, the rest are private properties, which are not subject to the one-per household limit for public housing.
“With the next General Election due in 2016, the government is keenly aware of the growing public dissatisfaction with rising housing prices, and are conscious of the need to act to ensure housing can be affordable to Singaporeans, while at the same time balancing the need for foreign investment in the ultra high-end luxury property category in areas such as Sentosa Cove, where prices start at S$4 million,” he adds.