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Further correction in housing market "not unexpected": Tharman

"I don't think the cycle is over," says Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, when talking about moderating home prices at the DBS Asian Insights Conference.

SINGAPORE: Home prices in Singapore may have been moderating for several straight quarters now, as cooling measures introduced by the Government continue to take effect.

However, while taking questions at the DBS Asian Insights Conference, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the cycle is "not over".

"Market players will determine where the cycle goes. I don't think the industry will crash, because we moved early enough, and we moved each step of the game, knowing full well that what we do may not be enough, but knowing too well that if we did too much, it may engineer a crash," said Mr Tharman.

"So we moved step by step, but we started early, so we avoided a huge bubble. That's why we won't see a crash. But I think further correction would not be unexpected."

Since 2009, the Government has implemented several rounds of measures to cool the property market. These include buyer's and seller's stamp duties as well as loan curbs like the Total Debt Servicing Ratio framework. The supply of new HDB flats has also been ramped up to meet demand. Together, these measures have curtailed increase in home prices.

The latest flash estimates from Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that private residential prices fell 1.1 per cent in the second quarter of this year - the third consecutive quarter of decline.

The government has said recently that it is too early to relax the property-cooling measures.

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