The prices of Singapore properties would have increased by up to 15 percent this year without the cooling measures introduced in July, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.
Speaking at an anniversary dinner organised by the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (Redas), Mr Wong stressed that the Government cannot take its eyes off the property market:
“Let me be very clear. The Government cannot and will not take a hands-off attitude to the property cycle. So there should not be any surprise when we intervene in the market.”
Mr Wong reminded the audience that the “Government’s perspective is that intervention is necessary to prevent property bubbles from forming and to achieve a stable property market, in order to benefit the majority of Singaporeans in the long term.”
He added that there were already results as figures from the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed that the prices of private properties increased by only 0.5 percent compared with the 3.4 per cent and 3.9 per cent in the second and first quarter respectively.
In July this year, the Government introduced a new round of cooling measures which dampened the property market which had earlier shown signs of resurgence after many months of decline. The Additional Buyers’ Stamp Duty (ABSD) was increased by 5 percentage points for individuals and 10 percentage points for entities. The loan-to-value limits were also tightened.
“The measures came after property prices increased by more than 9 per cent within a one-year period between mid-2017 and mid-2018 — after declining by 12 per cent over a four-year period. It took eight rounds of cooling measures from 2009 to 2013 to achieve the 12 per cent drop,” Mr Wong added.