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Industry players should not 'stoke exuberant sentiments' in property market: Indranee Rajah

Industry players should not 'stoke exuberant sentiments' in property market: Indranee Rajah

A view of residential housing in Singapore. (File photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Industry players should continue to be "professional, responsible, and prudent, and not stoke exuberant sentiments” in the property market, said Second Minister for National Development Indranee Rajah on Tuesday (Feb 23).

Speaking at an event hosted by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS), Ms Indranee said that in the long run, having a stable property market would benefit all stakeholders.

The property sector has remained buoyant despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Private home prices rose 2.2 per cent last year even as the economy fell into a recession, while resale prices for Housing Board flats climbed by their highest since 2012, amid a spike in buying activity.

READ: HDB resale prices up 5% last year

Ms Indranee cautioned that the recovery in global economic activity is expected to be "uneven, uncertain and drawn out", with other countries fighting recurrent waves of infection and new variants of the coronavirus.

“How the global economic and pandemic situations pan out and the ongoing uncertainties may affect Singapore’s economy, including our labour and property market. So we do have to remain vigilant," she said.

“Developers should remain prudent in their land bidding and not overextend themselves financially.

"Prospective property buyers should be mindful of their ability to service mortgage obligations given the uncertain economic outlook and the protracted recovery in the domestic labour market, before making long-term financial commitments."

READ: New private home sales rise 32% in January

READ: More HDB resale flat buyers willing to pay prices higher than units' valuation, say property agents

At the same event, REDAS President Chia Ngiang Hong outlined how developers were adopting greener building solutions and systems, in line with a nationwide push for sustainability.

“As such solutions are capital-intensive and need time to crystallise, the Government’s continued assistance to the built environment is very important," he added.

“And we hope for the understanding and consideration to adjust policies, if necessary, to maintain a stable and sustainable property market in the long run. It is very crucial indeed.”

Mr Chia, who is the group general manager of City Developments Limited, reiterated that developers are concerned about the global economy, which "remains fragile", as well as geopolitical developments and domestic market conditions.

During recent engagement sessions with some ministers, developers are encouraged by the "understanding of the immediate issues surrounding the construction industry", including high business costs and tight timeline of contracts, he said.

“Of course, their willingness to help to resolve these issues is most welcome,” he added.

Mr Chia added that REDAS "fully supports" the need for the property market to remain resilient to economic downturns, property bubbles and external shocks, and that prices move in line with economic fundamentals.

Source: CNA/cl


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