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Housing demand from singles, seniors to rise: report

By Romesh Navaratnarajah:

As the population of Singapore grows in size and complexity, some minority demographic groups are expected to play an important part in the country's housing market in the near future, namely singles and senior citizens.

According to The Minority Report by Colliers International, Singapore's population climbed 31.8 percent to 5.31 million in 2012 from just 4.03 million in 2000. The city-state's residential landscape including public and private housing has also become more diverse.

As of June 2011, citizens aged 65 and above comprised 9.3 percent (352,600) of Singapore's population.

In the same year, 96.6 percent of all senior citizens in Singapore lived in residential housing while the rest stayed in institutions like nursing homes.

Housing options that cater specifically to the elderly include one- to two-room rental flats for low income individuals/households under the Public Rental Scheme, and studio apartments sold on 30-year leases with elderly-friendly features.

Meanwhile, the number of one-person households rose to 1,145,900 in 2010. There are singles who also stay together with other singles, although they do not have a family nucleus.

According to the 2010 Population Census, there are 195,784 households with no family nucleus. At the same time, 12.2 percent of all households were income-earning households with no family nucleus.

In terms of housing, small private units measuring about 500 sq ft or less were targeting single buyers from 2009. But since 4 November 2012, the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) discouraged new projects comprising mostly of "shoebox" units outside the Central Region.

Moving forward, singles and senior citizens will not likely form the majority of Singapore's population. However, their numbers are significant enough to contribute to potential demand in the housing market.  Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email  Related Stories:Top 10 Stories of 2012 Investment sales slow slightly: report Two redevelopment sites sold

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