80% Home Seekers Feel Singapore Property Pinch

Singapore’s private property sector has logged eight consecutive quarters of price rises, and 4 out of 5 home buyers in the city-state are feeling the pinch, according to a survey conducted by online search portal PropertyGuru.

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79 percent of the 2,200 survey respondents are concerned about the affordability of real estate prices in all categories, from private condominiums to government HDB flats, compared to 75 percent in the first quarter.

But, PropertyGuru’s CEO Steve Melhuish, believes real estate prices in the private market are beginning to moderate, citing the slowing rate of house price growth.

Private home prices rose 2 percent in the April-June period, according to statistics from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, down from 2.2 percent in the previous three months.

“The private market is still showing strong growth, but it’s definitely moderating. We are seeing this plateauing effect in the private market. You are also seeing a reduction in transactions as well,” Melhuish told CNBC on Thursday.

Private residential property transactions have fallen 20 percent over the last 12 months as investors adopt a wait and see approach due to uncertainty surrounding the sector.

“Local investors are waiting because they feel there is going to be more supply coming to the market, after which they believe prices should come down,” said Poonam Harilela, real estate broker at Century 21.

Home seekers in the island nation are growing increasingly frustrated with level of instability in the country’s red-hot property market.

57 percent feel that the government is not doing enough to stabilize the property market, compared to 48 percent in the previous quarter, an increase of almost 10 percentage points.

Singapore’s government announced cooling measures in January 2011, including a hike in seller stamp duty rates.