Higher property prices may trigger more cooling measures

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SINGAPORE – Property developers have become more optimistic about the current and future state of the Singapore property market, but worry about the Government introducing more measures to cool the market.

The Real Estate Sentiment Index (Resi), jointly developed by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) and the Department of Real Estate at the National University of Singapore, had a composite reading of 6.6 in the third quarter, up from 6.1 in the second.

The composite index gives an overall indicator of sentiment.

Optimistic sentiments in the third quarter were consistent with increases in recent housing transactions and en bloc sales activities in the market.

If the positive sentiments were translated into higher housing prices, developers are worried about the possible introduction of more rounds of cooling measures by the Government.

Singapore’s private property index rose for the first time after falling for 15 consecutive quarters.

However, private home prices have fallen only 12% from their 2013 peak.

Despite that, analysts are projecting 10-15% spike in private home prices in 2018.

The survey also found that compared with the second quarter, respondents were more anxious about the supply side factors including new land, new project launches and speculative activities.

Among the respondents, 57.4 per cent said they expected a slowdown in the global economy would be the main potential risk to the sector in the next six months, while 50.8 per cent pointed to rising interest rates as the main risk.

Other risks they identified were a potential decline in the domestic economy, raised by 36.1 per cent of the respondents, and an excessive supply of new property launches, raised by 34.4 per cent.

The quarterly survey is conducted among senior executives of Redas member firms.

Last month, China surprised markets by tightening housing curbs to further cool the property market.

Source: Straits Times

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