Friday, 15 December 2017

Chinese developers pump up Singapore property

Chinese firms are making record-breaking bids for land redevelopment tenders, re-energizing a market that regulators have long aimed to tame


Singapore's property market is on the upswing, with home prices rising for the first time in four years following a string of aggressive bids from mainland Chinese and other foreign developers offering record-high premiums to clinch top land redevelopment tenders.

The island nation’s property prices had been on a record downturn, dropping 12% over 15 consecutive quarters from their 2013 peak after the government imposed measures to cool the market beginning in 2010.

Those market interventions, intended to guard against a housing bubble, imposed an additional buyer’s stamp duty for non-citizens and buyers of second or third homes, and a stamp duty for sellers for transactions made within four years of original purchase.

To deter excessive vacancies, property developers were required to pay an additional buyer’s stamp duty of 10% or 15% including interest on the total land cost of a project unless all the flats were built and sold within five years.

While those measures remain mostly intact, redevelopment deals known as “en bloc” sales, or the collective sale of apartments in older buildings to developers, have exceeded US$6.34 billion in 2017, the highest such figure since 2007. That’s been a windfall to tens of thousands of property sellers.

Read the full story at Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.