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50% Singaporeans find it hard to buy first home: Property survey

Results of the PropertyGuru survey showed that the sentiment was highest among singles followed by married couples with kids.

New public housing block in construction, illustrating a story on property sentiment in Singapore.
Over 50 per cent of Singaporeans find it hard to buy their first home, results of PropertyGuru's latest property sentiment survey shows. (PHOTO: Getty) (Calvin Chan Wai Meng via Getty Images)

SINGAPORE – More than half (51 per cent) of non-property owners in Singapore are finding it difficult to buy their first home, a study by PropertyGuru showed.

Results released on Thursday (14 September) showed that the sentiment was highest among singles (55 per cent), followed by married couples with kids (49 per cent) as shown in the latest bi-annual H2 2023 PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study (CSS), a poll that has been conducted by the property marketplace half-yearly since 2009.

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The H2 2023 CSS polled 1,036 Singaporeans via an online questionnaire between 9 June and 12 July 2023. The results showed that more Singaporeans plan to buy a home in the near-term but still struggle to buy their first property, PropertyGuru said.

As much as 64 per cent respondents intend to buy property and more of them (45 per cent) are planning to buy in the next two years, an increase from 38 per cent in the H1 2023 CSS.

A BTO flat is still the top property choice (31 per cent) among Singaporean buyers, followed by resale HDB flats (25 per cent) and newly launched non-landed private properties (15 per cent).

Results of the H2 2023 PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study.
Results of the H2 2023 PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study. (GRAPHIC: PropertyGuru) (PropertyGuru)

PropertyGuru's Singapore country manager Dr Tan Tee Khoon said that this uptick could be due to the government ramping up supply. An estimated 100,000 private homes and HDB BTO flats are also expected to be completed between 2023 and 2025.

"However, the accumulation of factors such as inflation, high costs of living and property prices are hindering Singaporeans from reaching their property aspirations," PropertyGuru said.

Singles applying for BTO

"The latest HDB housing policy changes by the government to improve housing accessibility for singles, as well as announcements made during the Budget 2023 speech and the increased supply, should be a welcome step by Singaporeans faced with these challenges," Dr Tan said.

From the second half of 2024, singles can apply for 2-room Flexi units across all BTO projects under the new Standard, Plus and Prime classification.

The study also showed that high inflation and rising mortgage interest rate are the main hurdles for property buyers. More than half (53 per cent) said they will delay buying property until inflation eases. Meanwhile, among first-time buyers, more than half (59 per cent) indicate they would delay purchasing should mortgage interest rates keep increasing.

Most property seekers who own a property (58 per cent) also said they would hold off their search for a new property if mortgage interest rates were to increase.

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