Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bull charge

IS THE seeming recovery in the property market for real? It's the million-dollar question that no-one - neither developers, analysts nor homebuyers - can answer with any certainty.

The residential market in Singapore took off in February this year, after subdued sales through all of 2008. The bull run culminated in a record 2,772 new private homes sold by developers in July this year.

A question mark now hangs over how the cooling measures announced in Parliament last week by National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan - to "temper the exuberance in the market and pre-empt any speculative bubble from forming" - will affect the market. Analysts say the measures, which include banning the interest absorption scheme, are not likely to keep away genuine buyers.

Speculators, on the other hand, might think twice.

The first major launch since the measures were announced - CapitaLand's The Interlace - still saw healthy take-up. Of the 360 units released for sale, 233 units or 65 per cent were sold as of Sunday.

Over the next few pages, we examine the key aspects of Singapore's property market, taking an in-depth look at the residential market and upcoming launches and the commercial sector as well as key overseas markets.

We ask experts for their views on how real and lasting the current rebound is. One factor that everyone agrees could influence the property market is the state of the economy next year and beyond.

There is no denying the importance of Singapore's property sector. How the market does impacts not only developers, investors and "regular Joe" homebuyers, but also a whole lot of other sectors due to the knock-on effects - banks which have been enjoying brisk business dishing out housing loans this year; the construction sector which is the only sector of the Singapore economy to report growth in 2009; and other related trades.

Source: Business Times, 24 Sep 2009

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