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2014 Singapore Property Market Forecasts

There have been numerous Singapore property cooling regulations that have been imposed by the Ministry of National Development (MND), the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the IRAS and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), and these regulations have done much in the sense of curbing the wide speculations about the future of Singapore’s property market. However, they are not effective in stopping the latent demand.

Currently, the demand is much bigger than the supply, and any measures that are meant to artificially decrease the demand are not longterm solutions.

After the fourth quarter of 2013, speculations about the loosening of cooling measures began, exciting both property developers and agencies. The speculations were rooted in the data showing that after the 61% rise in property prices since 2009, 2013 registered a 0.9% decrease. However, Budget 2014 effectively curbed these speculations, with Finance Minister declaring that after a four year increase in prices, relaxing the cooling measures in 2014 would be too early, as the property market is too volatile.

The declaration implies that the Singaporean government will allow property prices to fall for as long as the decline is not too great, in the meantime attempting to minimize the damage to the city’s financial system.

However, the Monetary Authority of Singapore did relax one of its cooling measures, namely the TDSR (Total Debt Servicing Ratio), meant to ensure that monthly payments by buyers did not exceed 60 % of their general income, in order to prevent defaulting in case of a rise in interest rates, as most Singaporean mortgages have adjustable rates, as opposed to fixed ones. Starting with 2014, the government will allow an exception for those who took their loan before the TDSR was introduced.

The forecasts for the evolution of Singapore’s property market in 2014 are vast, ranging from an increase in prices, to large declines.

Tricia Song from Barclays forecasts a “sizable correction of up to 20 percent by 2015″, detailing that the bank forecasts prices will fall approximately 5% in 2014 and another 5-15 % in the following year.

Of a divergent opinion is Alan Cheong, Savills’s Senior Director of Research, who predicts a rise in prices of 0-2% in 2014.

There are undeniably numerous factors involved in the evolution of the property market, for instance: interest rates, demand, supply, employment, taxes, cooling measures, financing rules etc.

However, the majority of 2014 forecasts agree on a decrease in property prices, ranging from less than 3% to more than 15%.

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