News: Industry players urged to remain prudent, not stoke exuberant sentiments in property market

Feb 24, 2021

This comes as Singapore’s property market remained buoyant with private home prices rising 2.2% in 2020 even as the economy plunged into recession.

Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah has urged industry players to remain responsible and prudent so as not to stoke exuberant sentiments within the property market, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).

This comes as a stable property market will benefit all stakeholders in the long run, she said at an event hosted by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS).

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore’s property market remained buoyant with private home prices rising 2.2% in 2020 even as the economy plunged into recession.

Prices of resale HDB flats also rose to their highest level since 2012 amid a hike in buying activity.

Recommended article: Top 3 Ways COVID-19 Is Still Affecting Singaporeans’ Property Decisions

Indranee, however, warns that global economic recovery is expected to be “uneven, uncertain and drawn out”, with other countries battling new variants of the coronavirus as well as recurrent waves of infection.

“How the global economic and pandemic situations pan out and the ongoing uncertainties may affect Singapore’s economy, including our labour and property market. So we do have to remain vigilant,” she said as quoted by CNA.

She called developers to remain “prudent in their land bidding and not overextend themselves financially”.

Prospective property buyers, on the other hand, should be “mindful of their ability to service mortgage obligations given the uncertain economic outlook and the protracted recovery in the domestic labour market, before making long-term financial commitments”, said Indranee.

Meanwhile, REDAS President Chia Ngiang Hong outlined the efforts made by developers to adopt greener building solutions and systems.

“As such solutions are capital-intensive and need time to crystallise, the Government’s continued assistance to the built environment is very important,” he said at the same event as quoted by CNA.

Suggested read: Home Loans Amid COVID-19: Will This “Low Interest Rate Environment” Last?

“And we hope for the understanding and consideration to adjust policies, if necessary, to maintain a stable and sustainable property market in the long run. It is very crucial indeed.”

Chia, who also serves as City Developments Limited’s Group General Manager, said developers are concerned of the global economy, which continues to be fragile, as well as the domestic market conditions and geopolitical developments.

He shared that developers are encouraged by the understanding showed by some ministers during recent engagement sessions on the immediate issues surrounding the construction industry such as tight timeline of contracts and high business costs.

“Of course, their willingness to help to resolve these issues is most welcome,” said Chia.

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