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Singapore property buying sentiment slides in 1Q2023 amid high interest rates and cooling measures: NUS

SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - According to the latest Real Estate Sentiment Index (RESI) 1Q2023 published by NUS, property buying sentiment in Singapore slid in 1Q2023 amid high interest rates, a banking crisis in some Western countries and successive rounds of property cooling measures in the city-state.

A composite index, amalgamating current and future sentiment, dropped from 5.1 in 4Q2022 to 4.6 in 1Q2023. “In tandem with the December 2021 property cooling measures, and with the US Federal Reserve giving no indication of letting up on interest rate hikes, sentiment has been on the downtrend since early 2022,” says Professor Qian Wenlan, director of Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS) at NUS.


She adds: “The most recent round of cooling measures and the ongoing banking crisis in the West has further raised caution, and our latest sentiment indices have hence further dipped.”

However, IREUS noted that the URA’s property price index has remained resilient, counterintuitively to the global economic situation and local market condition. The academic body also noted that recent new launches have attracted keen buying interest despite the additional buyer's stamp duty (ABSD) increases.

Qian expects to see a “lead-lag effect" between policy implementation and its associated effects on the market. The new launch market is starting from a relatively low base this year, and the “heady” performance last quarter is modest compared to previous peaks, she notes.

IREUS also polled developers who expressed caution amid headwinds and uncertainty. About 41% of the developers expected a moderately or substantially higher number of units to be launched over the next six months.

“Amid the rising cost of debt funding and other headwinds, buyers will progressively become more price-sensitive, while some demand may be shifted to public housing as the government expands the HDB supply pipeline,” says Qian.

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