If the property market in our closest neighbour is not well, how well would our property market be? I know of one good friend who will tell me this: “If the Singapore property market is doing well, then most investors will focus their attention there for better returns. The Malaysian property market will only be attractive when the Singapore property market has risen to a level deemed too high, then people will be wary and they may invest in the property market of Malaysia instead.” What happens then if the Singaporean property market has issues? Singapore’s Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas) president Augustine Tan said that the recent cooling measures have “indeed weakened market sentiments and demand” by raising the barriers for entry for “all categories of buyers” Here’s that article in StraitsTimes.com.sg
The reason he said so is because there will be nearly 46,000 private residential units which could be available for sale between 2019 and 2020 and this number will take around five years to be fully absorbed. he shared that analysts are also expecting developer sales for 2018 to drop to between 8,500 to 9,500 units and this is 15 to 20 percent down from last year. There are also other “dark clouds” such as heightened trade tensions and rising interest rates. There are however exceptions. Demand for developments in good locations and close to MRT stations remained “resilient” and continued to attract interest from first-time homebuyers and owners of en bloc developments. (I have always thought that every neighbourhood within Singapore is somehow connected to the MRT stations even if it may not be direct but by transit buses for example. Well, perhaps what he meant is that those which are really nearby)
Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) and Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that the cooling measures were taken in order to “keep prices in line with economic fundamentals.” This is in view of the large supply of properties coming on-stream as well as rising interest rates. He added that the government has “acted earlier.” He also hope for developers’ assistance in helping the needy. “As social needs grow in complexity, we need to look ahead and galvanise a whole-of-society approach to support and uplift individuals and families who may need more help.” One of the ways isthrough the Community and Sports Facilities Scheme (CSFS), introduced in 2003, which gives participating developers a bonus gross floor area (GFA) for community and sports uses over and above the maximum GFA permissible under the master plan for the commercial developments. Full article in StraitsTimes.com.sg here.
I personally do not think the cooling measures which are in place currently in Malaysia to be loosened anytime soon. We should remember that the cooling measures were implemented so that property prices either stay put or rise much slower than household income increases. Please do look at the image from housingwatch.my We can see that Q1 2018 has showed for the very first time that property price increase has slowed down to just 4.1 percent versus a 26-year average of 6.5 percent previously. Perhaps this is a sign that the cooling measures have started to have effects on the market? Yeah I know, some are saying that the Ministry of Housing and Local Government will announce something substantial for the first-time purchasers soon. Happy following and anticipating.
written on 19 Sept 2018
Next suggested article: We disagree with the cooling measures. Please let the market recover