High-end housing worst hit by curbs

The high-end housing segment will be most affected by the recent property curbs, Mr Kwek Leng Beng, Executive Chairman of City Developments (CDL), said yesterday, adding that “some correction” would be needed for the overall market.

Responding to a question on Budget 2013 and measures to cool the property market at CDL’s results briefing, Mr Kwek said: “The current economic crisis in Europe and global uncertainty create challenges to many countries. Some countries are addressing the widening income and wealth gaps.

“Singapore has looked into this issue and has moved forward to restructure its economy, making it sustainable in the longer term. The strategies mapped out by the Government will cause some pain before gain and, with its proven record, the private sector must come forward to support this move.”

The property cooling measures unveiled on Jan 11 include additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD), tighter loan-to-value limits and higher minimum cash down payments.

CDL reported its fourth-quarter net profit rose 52.8 per cent from the corresponding period a year ago, mainly due to robust sales and one-off gains. Net profit for the three months ended Dec 31 was S$249.3 million as revenue grew 22.8 per cent to S$886.4 million.

The one-off gains included profit on the sale of some property and an insurance settlement its Millennium & Copthorne unit received for a hotel in New Zealand that was closed after the February 2011 earthquake.

Net profit for last year fell 15.1 per cent to S$678.3 million, as revenue rose 2.2 per cent to S$3.35 billion.

CDL announced a special dividend of 5 cents per share, taking the total dividend for 2012 to 13 cents.

Source : Today – 1 Mar 2013

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