SINGAPORE: The Government expects the number of residential units available for sale to more than double "in the next few years", said Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee on Friday (Feb 23).
“There is a renewed confidence in today’s property market," he stated, speaking to more than 600 industry participants at the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS) Spring Festival Lunch.
His comments come just days after Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that the marginal buyer's stamp duty rate will be raised from 3 per cent to 4 per cent for residential properties worth more than S$1 million.
The changes apply to residential properties acquired from Tuesday.
REDAS president Augustine Tan echoed Mr Lee’s comments that the property market is still on the right track to recovery, noting that buying sentiments are likely to continue despite the recent policy change.
“Although the new revised buyer’s stamp duty hike may add some friction to transaction volumes and buyers are still price-sensitive, it is unlikely to derail the recovery," he said.
“Singapore properties are competitively affordable compared to cities like Shanghai and London.”
Meanwhile, Mr Lee said the recent roll out of the real estate industry transformation map earlier this month aims to transform and ramp up the capabilities of the property transactions and facilities management space.
For instance, a new digitalised property transactions workgroup has been formed to help shift the industry toward seamless, efficient and secure transactions, and in turn help firms remain competitive amid the wave of disruptions brought about by new player and competitors.
These changes will also provide greater convenience to property agents, buyers and sellers, he said.
On the facilities management front, Mr Lee encouraged firms to consider designing buildings that are easier to maintain going forward, explaining that this will help reduce maintenance costs.
“We encourage the industry to adopt smarter and more efficient facilities management systems that can streamline processes, reduce abortive work, and reap cost savings over time.”
Mr Lee added that these efforts will have positive effects in other sectors in the real estate chain like the developers, and urged REDAS to work closely with the Government in implementing these recommendations aimed to rejuvenate the sector and create better jobs and opportunities for Singaporeans.