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S’pore’s property market is bottoming out: CapitaLand CEO

04 Aug, 2017

The Republic’s biggest developer, CapitaLand, detects signs that the city’s residential property market is “bottoming out” after a run of price declines, said CapitaLand CEO and president Lim Ming Yan.

Many investors are seeing Singapore as relatively more attractive when compared with Hong Kong, London or Australian cities, said Mr Lim in an interview on Thursday (Aug 3) with Bloomberg. Extra liquidity was a factor in higher transaction volumes and slower price declines in recent months, he said.

“For a rebound to take place on a more sustainable basis, there has to be overall improvements in the fundamentals,” said Mr Lim.

The Government’s efforts to cool a red-hot property market have triggered a record 15-quarter decline in home prices, in contrast with cities such as Hong Kong, where property prices keep soaring to record levels.

In March, Singapore eased some restrictions, but cautioned that those adjustments did not signal any bigger unwinding of curbs.

Singapore’s restrictions are “a very stringent policy”, so further tightening is not likely, said Mr Lim. “At the same time, given the current market conditions, it’s unlikely that we will see a relaxation, certainly not this year.”

Home sales jumped 72 per cent during the first half from a year earlier as developers sold 6,567 units, compared with 3,814 units in the same period a year ago, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Housing prices continued to fall in the second quarter, drawing buyers back into the residential property market in droves to drive transaction volumes to their highest levels in more than four years.

Both the developer and resale segments of the market registered higher levels of activity, although the secondary market saw more buzz.

Last month, at least two public housing units in the Design, Build and Sell Scheme project at The Peak @ Toa Payoh were sold for more than S$1 million.

Resale prices of Housing and Development Board flats eased 0.1 per cent in the second quarter from the first, to mark the third straight quarter of decline, showed data from the public housing authority. Volume surged 32.5 per cent to 6,001 transactions from 4,530 over the same period.

In Singapore, CapitaLand recently announced the sale of Wilkie Edge and the divestment of a 50 per cent stake in One George Street, as well as the S$1.82 billion redevelopment of Golden Shoe Car Park into a 51-storey landmark in the CBD.

With a gross floor area of about one million sqf, the integrated development will feature 29 floors of premium Grade A office space on the top floors spanning 635,000sqf of net lettable area, an eight-storey, 299-unit serviced residence to be managed by The Ascott, five floors of parking and 12,000sqf of ancillary retail space.

Adapted from: TODAY, 4 August 2017