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Friday, November 6, 2015

Daily Lessons from Life 05 November 2015 - Govt, real estate industry share interest in ensuring stable market: Heng Swee Keat

"Govt, real estate industry share interest in ensuring stable market: Heng Swee Keat - 5 Nov 2015

SINGAPORE: The Government and real estate industry share a common interest in ensuring a stable and sustainable property market, said Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat on Thursday (Nov 5).

Speaking at an anniversary dinner of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (REDAS), Mr Heng said: "The Government has always taken a medium-term approach towards managing land supply, based on fundamental demographic and economic factors.

“(The Government) has (also) encouraged a competitive and transparent environment to ensure a well-functioning property market. When necessary, we have judiciously used targeted prudential and fiscal measures to smooth out the cycles and promote market sustainability over the medium term."

Mr Heng also highlighted the importance of having environmentally sustainable designs, and called on developers to continue coming up with more innovative eco-designs.

REDAS reiterated its commitment to creating "vibrant and sustainable" spaces, but it also repeated concerns about the growing stock of unsold housing units and rising costs.

The association cited its recent survey showing prices of private residential projects launched in the past two years have fallen by as much as 11 per cent, with some projects having had to cut prices twice.

President of REDAS Augustine Tan said: "Prices cannot drop too deeply without affecting the quality of our products and operational obligations. Having made significant progress in the standard of our built environment, it is no longer possible to look back.""

I always wonder what REDAS has in mind when it speaks.

1. falling prices were mentioned. What about continuous rising prices? I don't get that mentioned a lot except in the sales brochures telling 'housing hunters' to 'buy NOW before prices go up further' or 'lock in your profit by buying NOW before prices shot up'! Interesting phenomenon;

2. 'when prices fall too quickly, it will affect the quality of the products of REDAS' as I rephrased what the President of REDAS had supposedly said. If there are VALUES to be had, someone WILL buy it. Question is: 'how much profit does the REDAS members believe is reasonable?'. Each time we see many real estate developers in the Richest Persons in Singapore List, we simply cannot avoid asking the question: can prices be lower with constant cost and quality but just a little less profit?;

3. Minister Heng is absolutely right to point out what the government MUST DO to maintain a healthy and stable property market. The GREATER POINT to make about property market is that it MUST be looked at as 2 distinctive markets. One is Public Housing that the government is obliged to provide to newly wed couples wanting to start a 3-kid family in their own affordable public house; the other is Private Housing where the sellers can sell at WHATEVER PRICES the BUYERS want to pay for. NO LIMIT except for the quantum of borrowing. You see, when YOU CAN afford to buy the private property, YOUR CREDIT should be high enough that you are COMFORTABLE to pay the instalments payment.

i.e. IF you cannot qualify for loans, you probably SHOULD NOT be buying private properties. Also, if you cannot buy for your own stay, FORGET about owing one to 'earn rental income' as investment properties! SIMPLY as THAT!!

Happy anniversary REDAS. Old enough to figure out how to satisfy the MARKETS without asking for government's help LAH!!

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