Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Singapore property prices on uptrend

Singapore property prices on uptrend

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
About 88 per cent of developers indicated they were 'very concerned' about high labour costs in the next six months. THE STRAITS TIMES

Singapore property prices on uptrend

Singapore's construction industry’s challenges could continue for the rest of the year at least, despite support from the government, trade associations and banks. This is expected to continue fuelling demand and pushing property prices up, experts said.

About 88 per cent of developers recently polled by the National University of Singapore (NUS) indicated they were “very concerned” about high labour costs in the next six months, higher than the 71 per cent in the first quarter.

Around 58 per cent said they were worried about elevated building material costs, compared with 45.8 per cent in the first quarter.

It was the first time since NUS started gathering data that respondents had indicated such a high level of concern over construction costs, said Sing Tien Foo, head of NUS Business School’s Department of Real Estate.

He noted that the costs are usually stable, adding that “it will take time before border restrictions are lifted for migrant workers. By then, we will also need to compete with other countries for labour”.

Ian Teo, president of the Micro Builders Association, Singapore, said it could take one to three years for things to return to normal.

Trade associations and the government have extended support.

Measures include allowing foreign workers in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors to renew their expiring work permits for up to two years, even if they do not meet the renewal criteria.

Property developers were given extensions to complete outstanding residential, commercial and industrial projects, while banks have provided liquidity relief to the building sector.

However, the Ministry of Trade and Industry estimates that the sector’s value-added is now still 29 per cent below pre-pandemic levels.

On the flipside, residential property demand and prices are expected to tick higher.

About 54 per cent of the developers surveyed by NUS in the second quarter expect more units to be launched in the next six months, while 63 per cent expect prices of new launches in the next six months to be substantially higher.

Steven Tan, director of property agency OrangeTee, said demand for public and private properties has been rising and listings for both new launches and resale flats are being snapped up on the same day. “Buyers are more willing to spend on bigger but older flats due to work-from-home requirements.”

According to OrangeTee's data, more than 14,000 resale Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats changed hands in the first half of the year. Prices increased six per cent over that period and are just two per cent below the peak in the second quarter of 2013.

Total HDB resales could hit 27,000-29,000 units this year, higher than the 24,748 units sold last year and the 23,714 transacted in the pre-pandemic 2019. Prices of resale flats may rise by nine-to-11 per cent for the whole of 2021, according to OrangeTee estimates.

Meanwhile, a total of 8,449 private homes, including new launches and resale units, were sold in the second quarter, up 4.3 per cent from the first three months of the year.

Tan added that overall home prices may rise by six-to-nine per cent this year, possibly driven by resale volumes.

Consequently, the Building and Construction Authority expects construction demand to be worth between S$23 billion and S$28 billion (US$17 billion and US$21 billion), up from the preliminary estimate of S$21.3 billion last year.



  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway