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Singapore Builders Face Large Debts

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With home prices dropping and residents being less interested in buying, Singapore’s condominium builders have a large debt burden that needs to be repaid within a year’s time. The most recent filings from the 80 builders that are listed on the Singapore stock exchange show that they have a combined debt of $23.5 Singapore dollars that will need to be repaid within the next year.

These looming debt obligations come in the midst of the highest vacancy rates for condominiums since 2006. This increase in vacancy combined with the reduced demand has led to the price of condos dropping and concerns that companies may have trouble refinancing their debt.

With the economy slowing from the 4.8 percent growth of the first quarter to 2.4 percent in the second quarter and the slowing growth of the population, many analysts are predicting that the drop in home prices has yet to reach its lowest point.

Kah Ling Chan of S&P Singapore said,

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“We’re at that point in the cycle when every quarter you’re seeing selling prices come down a little bit and secondary market transactions aren’t very active. I suspect we haven’t seen the bottom yet.”

The trend is not looking much better for the developers of residential homes. Sales of homes both new and secondary have slowed and as the demand slows, more builders are having to rely on loans to complete their projects. Even with the slowing demand, the rate that new houses are being built remains high and this could have a further influence on the dropping prices.

Along with refinancing and expanding their debt, some builders are responding to the slowing growth and demand by expanding their operations to locations outside of Singapore. Many believe that this development indicates that it will be some time before the property market in Singapore starts to recover.

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