The Singapore government has stepped in twice in the property market this year, taking a cautious approach to introducing further measures to curb property prices, but not crashing the market, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.
“We are not taking a big bang approach, but taking a very calibrated approach to this. Why? Because we want to make sure the market can be sustained. We also don’t want the market to crash because there will be other repercussions if that were to happen,” Mr. Mah told Channel News Asia.
Property prices rebounded from the global economic crisis, boosted by a strong economy, high liquidity from overseas investors and low unemployment rate.
A stamp duty was implemented by the government in February to any properties sold within a year and the effective period was then raised to three years in August. The maximum amount of loans granted to buyers was reduced to 70 percent from 90 percent over the two rounds of changes. Unlike the previous property boom in 1996, the government this time is taking small steps.
The cooling measures implemented on August 30 have achieved some of the desired impact. Though property prices continued to rise, it moved in a slower pace. Prices of private properties rose 2.9 percent in Q3, compared with a 5.3 percent increase in Q2.
Mr. Mah said the full impact of the cooling measures implemented in August will be felt in a few more months. The government will introduce more measures if necessary but Mr. Mah noted that for now, no further measures will be imposed as the government is monitoring the impact of the latest series of measures.