Singapore property developers cautious about market outlook

Property developers seem pessimistic about the outlook for Singapore’s real estate market in 2012, with some analysts foreseeing a five to ten percent drop in property prices this year.

But market watchers also say the strong interest in recent property launches could defy these forecasts and even lead to more cooling measures.

Celebrations continue but property developers are still in the dark about the outlook for Singapore’s property market in 2012.

Mr Wong Heang Fine, President, Real Estate Developer’s Association of Singapore, said: “We are cautious. On the market going forward, it all depends on how the global economy goes in the next eleven months. So it’s really anybody’s guess.”

URA data shows the rate of price increase for private residential properties moderating for the ninth consecutive quarter with rentals also tapering off.

Still, the strong interest in recent property launches show that there is liquidity in the markets.

But while home sales in January are expected to be high, REDAS warned that the healthy figures do not indicate how the rest of the market will perform this year.

Mr Wong Heang Fine, President, Real Estate Developer’s Association of Singapore, said: “I think January figures, you must look at it more in perspective. Actually January figures are generated by the new launches of two or three projects. So the numbers itself does not really reflect the entire state of the market. ”

Although it is unusual for developers to talk down the market, it may be that they have other concerns on their minds.

Png Poh Soon, Director, Consultancy & Research, Knight Frank, said: “Against a good take-up and when sales volume start increasing, will there be a sixth round of cooling measures? I think the additional buyer’s stamp duty had some impact on buyer sentiment. Already there are some analysts and generally the market have been saying that there will knee-jerk effect on the residential sector.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Eurozone debt crisis and the additional buyer’s stamp duty weighing on sentiment, analysts say property developers will continue to offer attractive lifestyle products to potential homeowners.

And these are likely to come in the form of integrated developments such as the Watertown and the Hillier.

The last thing they want are more cooling measures.

Instead, they are hoping for some respite in the upcoming Budget.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 2 Feb 2012

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