Many Singaporean consumers are doubtful about the real estate market, with many adopting a “wait-and-see” approach towards property acquisitions in the following 12 months, according to PropertyGuru’s recent Affordability Sentiment Survey.

According to the survey, 71 percent of respondents still feel that property is expensive across all segments in Singapore, unchanged from the 71 percent recorded in the Q4 survey.

Meanwhile, approximately 68 percent of the respondents believe that HDB flats are expensive, slightly more 67 percent in the Q4 survey.

Similarly, nearly 80 percent of the respondents said private residential property is still expensive, while 56 percent think HDB prices will further increase in the next six months, compared to 41 percent in Q4 last year.

Almost 44 percent of the respondents believe that prices will decline in the next six months, compared to 59 percent in last year’s Q4 survey.

“There is considerable ongoing debate about property affordability in the run-up to the Singapore general elections. Our latest quarterly survey reveals that the majority of the 1,670 respondents still feel that the property market is too expensive, with almost half wanting to see the government doing more,” said Steve Melhuish, CEO of PropertyGuru.

The cooling measures biggest impact was seen in new and resale condominiums, with 40 percent of the respondents expecting a decline in sales.

Despite the recent implementation of more cooling measures, a number of respondents felt that the government’s efforts were insufficient to keep Singapore property prices affordable.

“In addition, an increased number (almost three-quarters of all respondents) are now adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach, presumably uncertain about the future of the market,” said Mr. Melhuish.

“Despite this, the January cooling measures seemed to have impacted sentiment towards the private residential market, more than HDB, with 40 percent expecting condo transactions to reduce and prices to decrease by at least five percent within 12 months. We will see whether the latest government measures this month will impact sentiment in our Q2 survey.”

In addition, the survey also showed that 89 percent of the respondents agree that the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA) will result in more transparency and protection for consumers, as well as increased confidence in property agents.

PropertyGuru’s Property Sentiment Survey was conducted in early April 2011 with 1,670 respondents, the majority of which were between 30 to 49 years of age.

PropertyGuru said the “quarterly online survey aims to gain a better perspective on the property market, current consumer sentiment and how it may affect future property decisions, including the tracking of a consumer property sentiment index.”

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