Property prices may be on the slide but opinions are mixed over whether the cooling measures should be rolled back.
Investors are firmly behind a revision and developers tend to want some tweaks to the main policies, although market watchers and consultants believe prices have not adjusted enough to warrant changes.
That view dovetails with the Ministry of National Development, which said on Monday that as prices have remained largely unchanged, the time is not ripe to lift policies targeting runaway prices.
Mix Views on Easing Property Measures
The range of measures include the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD), which is aimed at curbing speculative buying, and the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR), which prevents borrowers from piling up too much debt.
These policies and others have dented demand over the past year, with flash estimates yesterday showing a further 1.1 per cent slide in prices for the second quarter.
Some developers have backed prominent industry veteran Kwek Leng Beng, executive chairman of City Developments (CDL), who wants the measures reviewed as he believes they have diverted foreign investment from Singapore to other countries.
They acknowledge that stable property prices are a worthwhile objective but believe policies should be balanced with maintaining Singapore’s global standing.
Property Measures help to ease out Speculations
“The measures have already weeded out speculation, and I believe they were intended to just cool the market, not prevent genuine buyers from investing,” said a spokesman for developer Sysma Holdings. He said some foreigners can afford to pay with cash but are deterred by the 15 per cent ABSD on each purchase.
Local buyers aspiring to invest in property also called for the measures to be reviewed. Businessman Don Poh, 26, owns a condominium unit but hesitates to get a $550,000 one-bedder because of the ABSD of $38,500 on it.
Mr Dilshad Ahmad, 35, a manager in the shipping industry, has set his sights on foreign property instead.