Private property prices to rise between 5-7% says research firm

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Property consulting firm Cushman & Wakefield believes private property prices will rise between 5% and 7% this year.

A spokesperson for the firm told the Wall Street Journal the higher stamp duty announced this week could have the effect of increasing demand for lower-priced properties located in the suburbs.

This despite the fact that Singapore’s residential property market is still too hot for the city-state’s government, said the Journal.

The Journal said the recent uptick in sales drew both local and overseas developers to acquire land for development.

The so-called collective sales, where builders buy old apartment blocks for redevelopment, have increased in volume in recent months.

A total of eight sites worth a total of S$3.1 billion have been sold so far this year, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

That follows collective sales of private property totalling of S$8.2 billion in 2017, the highest level in a decade.

The Journal said there are signals the frenetic pace of activity in the market over the past year may be worrying the authorities.

This brought about the cooling measures announced in the Budget 2018 with the rise of the duty for high-value property transactions.

The bulk of residential properties in Singapore that cost over a million dollars are private apartments or houses, owned largely by higher-income locals or foreigners.

The budget announcement caused a slump of several real-estate stocks.

Local builders, whose shares had climbed earlier this year, were among the country’s worst-performing stocks as trading closed.