More land for executive condominiums in 2012

More land will be released for the development of executive condominiums (ECs) in 2012.

The Ministry of National Development (MND) says that it is prepared to supply land sites for 5,000 EC units next year.

This is part of the government’s move to help more higher income Singaporeans own private housing by expanding the EC market.

The government has taken an earlier step by raising the monthly income ceiling for the purchases of new ECs from S$10,000 to S$12,000 in August this year.

Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Tan Chuan-Jin said that the increased income ceiling has benefited around 220 households who have booked their ECs since the widening of the scheme.

Mr Tan was speaking at the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) anniversary dinner.

The EC scheme was introduced in 1995 to provide a more affordable private housing option for Singaporeans.

Since the introduction of the scheme, 14,600 EC units have been launched by developers and 3,000 units are coming on-stream.

Still, Mr Tan pointed out that the majority of Singaporeans will continue to live in public housing.

He reiterated that the government remains committed to help first-time owners and newlyweds purchase their own homes.

But Mr Tan said that from next year, the government will begin to pay more attention to helping HDB second-timers.

On the recent move to introduce additional buyers’ stamp duty, Mr Tan said that it is “natural and not unexpected” for the announcement to attract much public discussion with diverse views.

He added that the volatile equity markets and uncertainty in Europe may cause more foreign funds to be attracted to Singapore’s property market.

The latest move is targeted to moderate such investment demand to avoid the need for a major correction in the future.

Mr Tan said that developers may not welcome such a move but he seeks their understanding for the good of the industry.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 27 Dec 2011

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