News: MAS chief sees no need to ease property cooling measures

Jul 17, 2020

This comes as Singapore’s property market has remained stable due to the previous property cooling measures as well as the temporary relief measures rolled out by the government. 

Despite the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) Managing Director Ravi Menon believes there is no need to ease existing property cooling measures, reported TODAY.

This comes as Singapore’s property market has remained stable due to the previous property cooling measures as well as the temporary relief measures rolled out by the government to help developers and homebuyers affected by the pandemic.

“The adjustment of the property market has been modest. Property prices have moderated in an orderly manner in recent months,” said Menon, as quoted by TODAY.

“The property cooling measures — progressively implemented over the last 10 years — have helped to temper price increases and bring prices more in line with underlying economic fundamentals.”

The government has progressively rolled out property cooling measures almost every year since 2009. In fact, the measures introduced in 2018 have effectively brought down huge price increases.

Urban Redevelopment Authority flash estimates showed that private residential property prices fell 1.1% in Q2 2020.

To help developers whose projects were delayed due to COVID-19, the Ministry of National Development offered a six-month extension for them to complete their projects.

Singaporean married couples eyeing to claw back the 12% Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty when acquiring a new private home will also have a year, instead of six months, to dispose of their existing home.

“The stabilisation of the property market has substantially reduced its vulnerability to the COVID-19 shock. If property prices had been rising rapidly as we entered the COVID-19 crisis, we could have seen a sharp and painful correction,” noted Menon.

Recommended article: PropertyGuru Study: More Than Half of Singaporeans Feel Uncertain of Future Property Prices Due to COVID-19

With this, MAS and other government agencies will continue to closely watch the market to ensure that private home prices remain in line with economic fundamentals, he said.

On whether the increase in June’s private home sales was a sign of a worrying trend, Menon said: “Frankly, I don’t know.”

“There are people who think (prices) might go up, there are people who think it might go down. On balance, it’s pretty much staying where it is. Month to month, you will see spikes, some of it is pent-up.”

Menon added that authorities take a longer-term perspective on property market trends.

“We watch these trends very closely to see if they signify a persistent trend or pattern that might suggest a discontinuity, meaning a sharp collapse or a sudden surge. We need to now look at both possibilities and guard against it.”

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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