Business News

CCTV Script 04/04/17


This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on April 4, Tuesday.

Welcome to CNBC Business Daily, I'm Qian Chen.

Singapore home prices fell in the first three months of 2017, marking the 14th quarter of drop in property values.

According to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, the index, which tracks private residential prices, fell 0.5 percent in the first quarter.

The three-and-a-half-year decline is the longest since the data was first published in 1975.

Since 2009, the government has been trying to calm down Singapore's property market, which was fueled by interests of overseas buyers.

After the global financial crisis, the U.S. Fed launched three rounds of QE programs, resulting in capital moving to Asian countries. With these capital inflows, Singapore saw its home prices surging.

To this end, the government introduced a slew of cooling measures - including additional buyer's stamp duty, the seller's stamp duty and the total debt servicing ratio, as well as a restriction on loan levels.

This had a substantial effect on the property market in Singapore, with both HDB and private (non-landed) property prices falling quickly in subsequent years.

Public housing in Singapore is managed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) under temporary leaseholds.

HDB flats were built primarily to provide affordable housing for the poor and their purchase can be financially aided by the Central Provident Fund.

As the majority of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly governed and developed, the cooling measures from the government seemed effective on both HDB and condo sales.

As you can see in this chart, the blue line represents HDB resale market volume. The sales declined immediately after the cooling measures announced in 2009. For the private residential housing, as you can see in the chart marking in the red line, sales slumped significantly after the government raised stamp duty for foreigners to 15%.

Now, policies might be loosened up soon.

The government last month rolled back some property-market curbs for the first time, including a cap on debt-repayment costs, and stamp duties.

CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore