By Pooja Thakur
Singapore housing prices may rise as much as 10 percent this year, following a pickup in home sales, the chief executive officer of Southeast Asia’s biggest developer said.
“Transaction volume has gone up and usually that’s a precursor to some price increase,” Lim Ming Yan, the president and CEO of CapitaLand Ltd., said in an interview in Singapore. “A 5-to-10 percent increase is possible this year barring any unforeseen major volatility in the capital markets.”
Lim was speaking after the developer said net income fell 38 percent to S$267.7 million ($202 million) in the three months ended Dec. 31 after finishing fewer homes to sell in China.
Still, CapitaLand shares rose 2 percent to S$3.54 at 11:59 a.m. in Singapore, the biggest advance since Oct. 5, after the company raised its full-year dividend 20 percent.
Rising prices and climbing sales are reinforcing signs the city-state’s residential market is emerging from a four-year slump. Developers have been aggressively bidding for land on the back of the recovery. CapitaLand, which has largely stayed away from the bidding war, said Tuesday it bought a redevelopment project near the central business district for S$728 million, which it will turn into an 800-unit residential complex.
“We continue to look for opportunities in Singapore but we feel the kind of bidding, the price, is too aggressive for us,” Lim said. “We bid in a very disciplined manner.”
Lim’s view is in line with other forecasts. Home prices may rise as much as 10 percent this year, according to analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG, while Morgan Stanley and OCBC Investment Research expect as much as an 8 percent increase, according to reports from the brokerage firms.
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