Prices of luxury properties not expected to crash after latest measures: analysts

Luxury property prices in Singapore are not about to come crashing down following the latest government cooling measures.

With demand for high-end properties already depressed, experts said the new policies will unlikely drag prices lower.

Traditionally dominated by rich foreigners, the expected comeback of investors from China may prop up prices in this segment.

With 34 out of 66 units at The Marq on Paterson Hill left unsold, luxury property developer SC Global has to fork out another S$5.5 million for a six-month extension to keep selling the units.

This is because regulations require developers with non-Singaporean shareholders and directors to sell all the projects within seven years.

But this is not something most developers will lose sleep over.

Wilson Liew, analyst at Maybank-Kim Eng, said: “It is not a major problem for developers. There aren’t too many projects that would be hit immediately…for high-end projects are still within the construction phase, and they still have another two years after completion.”

Some analysts do not see the latest cooling measures as the straw that will break the camel’s back in the luxury property market.

Sales caveats analysed by DWG found that the number of China buyers has been on the rise.

In fact, out of foreign buyers, China buyers snapped up the most number of units in the fourth quarter of last year.

Experts have said Chinese investors are still attracted by the cheaper prices of Singapore’s luxury homes compared to Hong Kong.

Lee Sze Teck, senior research manager at DWG, said: “If you compare Singapore to Hong Kong, the capital appreciation here and in Hong Kong as well, and the prices over here…we know that prices of homes in Singapore, even for luxury homes, are still lagging behind those in Hong Kong.”

DWG estimates property prices in the core central region to dip by at most 5 per cent in 2013.

Some other analysts said developers may also work with private bankers to push sales.

After all, properties still offer the better alternative than interests earned from bank deposits and volatile equity markets.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Jan 2013

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