A survey conducted by top property portal, PropertyGuru, shows that the vast majority of consumers in Singapore are unhappy with high prices in the housing market, with 88 per cent of respondents expressing dissatisfaction over expensive residential property prices that persist despite the Government’s latest cooling measures.
Consumers also reported that they feel that property prices will continue climbing over the next five years and only 27 per cent of those surveyed felt that the Government was doing enough to make housing affordable.
Many feel that one measure to make housing affordable would be to relax the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) that was originally imposed to cool the market. 80 per cent of respondents wanted the ABSD to be reduced while nearly 50 per cent felt that all cooling measures should be relaxed. PropertyGuru Chief Business Officer Lewis Ng said:
“While new cooling measures might moderate prices of property, we anticipate that buyers would take a wait-and-see approach to gauge where prices might go. With buyers now having to fork out more cash upfront, these recent moves have made it more expensive to consider property as an investment option.
“Sellers looking forward to a market recovery to sell their properties, might feel some frustration as well, especially en bloc hopefuls who did not manage to see their sales go through prior to the measures.”
Meanwhile, the survey also discovered that young Singaporeans are looking to purchase a home of their own but are unable to given insufficient savings. 39 per cent of those between the ages of 21 and 37 revealed that they surveyed currently live with their parents. Of this group, 66 per cent are looking to purchase a home of their own.
Of these, 69 per cent of young Singaporeans reported that they do not have a proper savings plan to make a housing purchase possible. Even those who do not intend to move out of their parents’ homes cited insufficient savings as the main reason for their decision to continue living with their parents.
33 per cent of young Singaporeans cited high property prices as the reason for their decision, while 44 per cent said that they are ineligible to purchase a HDB flat since they are unmarried.
The results of this study, especially the results that show that many young Singaporeans are unable to purchase their own flat, appear to contradict Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong’s remarks during Budget 2017 that Singapore is different from countries like the UK where young people struggle with high living expenses and housing prices.
In a parliamentary speech dubbed “Living the Singapore dream, HDB-style”,
“While we have achieved tremendous success with home ownership, I recognise that Singaporeans are still concerned about the future. It’s reflected in the speeches of many Members during the Budget Debate. I have also met many parents who are worried about their children’s future; as well as young Singaporeans who asked me whether they can look forward to a better life than what their parents had.
“I understand these concerns, and they are not unique to Singapore; they are felt around the world. Enabling homeownership is a major challenge in cities everywhere. Young people struggle with high living expenses and house prices. For example, I read a recent report of the situation in the UK. In 1998 it took an average worker about 3 years to afford the down-payment to buy a home in the UK. Today, it takes 20 years – from 3 to 20 years today. As a result, many young people in the UK have no chance of buying property.
“Our situation in Singapore is very different from the UK and other countries and this didn’t happen by chance. It’s because we made home-ownership a strategic priority from the start of nation building and have continually invested in it over the decades, a point which Mr Alex Yam and many other members of this house have made earlier. That’s why couples are today assured of a quality home at an affordable price even before they get married – it’s something that no other country in the world can offer.
“We are committed to keeping this Singapore dream alive – to help couples secure their flats more quickly, start their families, sink roots into the community and have a concrete stake in our nation.”