Housing Property Prices Soar in Singapore

Posted by Staff writer on Jan 03, 2013 07:24 AM EST
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Public Housing provided by the government in Singapore is utilized by almost 80 percent of the country's population. (Photo : xcode / Flickr)

After Hong Kong's alleged housing sector growth, prices of residential properties in Singapore have risen tremendously in the past few months. According to the fourth quarter reports, prices of residential estates went up by 1.8 percent in the final quarter.

The rise in the percentage was a record-breaking hike of 1.8 percent to 211.9 points. Even in the third quarter, the prices experienced a slight 0.6 hike, reported Xinhuanet.

On an annual basis, the total percentage of rise was around 2.8 percent throughout the year. Though the rise is a good indication of growth, the percentage is less than the 5.9 percentage recorded in the fourth quarter of 2011. Not only did new house sale prices increase, but the resale prices also hit a commendable high. Resale prices rose by 2.5 percent in the quarter, reported Xinhuanet.

"The quarter-on-quarter price growth is quite stunning compared with previous quarters, given recent domestic economic fragility and that the fourth quarter is typically a lull period for the market," Chua Yang Liang, who heads the Southeast Asia research team at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate consultancy, told the Wall Street Journal.

The Singaporean government is likely to introduce fresh regulations in order to cool off the exuberance prevailing in the real estate markets of the country. Previously, the government had introduced extra stamp duty with higher duties for foreign investors on development of condos with a maximum floor size of 500 square feet area in the Singaporean suburban areas. The rates of down payments were also allegedly increased, reported Wall Street Journal.

The percentage increase in the prices could lead the government to bring in a new set of rules.

"The increased momentum [of quarterly price rises]-particularly in the mass-market housing segment, as well as the return of buying interest in the high-tier segments-is likely to keep authorities on high guard and has further heightened policy risks," Chia Siew Chuin, analyst at Colliers International property, told the WSJ.

Public housing prices have also risen. A 0.5 percent rise was recorded in the public housing sector in the fourth quarter when compared to the percentage of the third quarter. However, since 80 percent of Singapore's population lives in public housing apartments that are developed by the government itself, the authorities have been striving to make public housing more affordable for the public, reported Xinhuanet.

Experts at Deutsche Bank have declared that the economy could see a 1 to 3 percent growth in 2013, reported the WSJ.

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