Kamis, 08 Desember 2011

Property market slowdown: So this time's for real then?

The Singapore property market is bracing for a slowdown, with experts predicting a steep drop in transaction volume and prices over the next few months, following the latest cooling measures.

At least one real estate agency thinks the immediate reaction will be a slowdown in the private property market.

CEO of PropNex Realty Mohamed Ismail said he expects a price correction of approximately 15 to 20% in the central core region, and a correction of 10 to 15% in the mass market segment in the next six months.

PropNex also expects transaction volume for properties to dive by as much as 40% in the core central region - like Orchard and Marina Bay. This is because of the significant number of foreign buyers for such properties.

Meanwhile, PropNex expects transaction volume to fall by as much as 20% in the mass market segment.

Analysts expect buyers to adopt a wait-and-see approach.

Mr Mohamed said: "It takes a very bullish decision from a foreigner to come and invest in Singapore in today's market, having to pay a 13% stamp duty upfront, and (being) subjected to the Seller's Stamp Duty in the next four years, of 16%, 12%, 8% and 4%.

"And even if you sell after four years, if he buys a property today, he must expect at least a 25 to 30% increase in the property price to break even, taking into consideration other costs and interests and all other elements."

Under the latest changes, foreign buyers of private properties in Singapore will now have to fork out 10% more in stamp duty while permanent residents and Singaporeans are also affected with an increased stamp duty on their second and third properties respectively.

PropNex said the new measures could have been targeted to preserve affordable pricing in the mass market segment - homes costing less than $2 million where prices have surpassed $1,000psf.

It argues that having a blanket policy will impact the high-end market which has been the investment interest of the foreign buyers.

Norman Lu, a foreign buyer, said: "We are very disappointed about this rule. Because even though we are foreigners, we have been working in Singapore...we also contribute to this country. So as a foreigner, we feel that the government does not welcome us."
Source: Channel News Asia

Mr Lu may have felt hard done by our Government but then again, many countries around the world have similiar policies concerning foreign purchase of private residential properties. Maybe that's what they meant by "Citizenship has its privileges"...?


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