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Property prices still on the rise

By Cheryl Tay:

Despite the government's efforts to control property prices, Singapore home prices continue to climb. Hence, analysts expect to see more cooling measures from the government to avoid a property bubble.

Driven by high demand and low interest rates, prices will likely rise by eight percent between now and 2017, according to property analysts at Credit Suisse. They noted that interest will remain flat until 2015 and increase by two percentage points come 2017.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed that prices rose at their fastest rate since mid-2011 despite the government releasing cooling measures six times in the past three years.

"Recent price increases look relatively tame compared to what happened from 2009 to 2011 but they look robust when viewed against the cooling measures imposed by the government and the poor economic environment of the global and local economies," said a spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).

Given the city's existing reputation as one of the world's most expensive places to live, this increase comes as a surprise, although it is not across the board and is mainly dependent on location.

PropNex Realty noted that almost 50 percent of the price increases were recorded in the latter part of 2012.

"We certainly saw a rebound in private property prices in the last quarter which contributed to more than 50 percent of the rise for the entire year," said a company spokesman.

The company expects prices to increase by around four to five percent, although the value of private suburban homes could also increase by as much as 10 percent.

Analysts also noted that the bumper supply of houses in the pipeline will do little to dampen the red hot property market. Cheryl Tay, Editor of CommericalGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email Related Stories: Abolish ECs, suggests an expertNew cooling measures possibly looming: experts

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