Saturday , June 23 2018

Singapore eases property market regulations

epa05249137 A general view shows a cluster of high-rise public housing apartments situated in the Queenstown district of Singapore, Singapore, 08 April 2016. Public housing in Singapore is managed and built by the Housing & Development Board (HDB), a statutory board under the Ministry of National Development. Since its formation in 1960, the HDB has provided Singaporeans with state-built housing to increase home ownership. Over 80 percent of Singaporeans stay in public housing.  EPA/WALLACE WOON



Whether you look at prices or policy, the property markets in Singapore and Hong Kong are marching resolutely in opposite directions.
Singapore has eased some rules in its property market, after more than three years of home price declines. Hong Kong in November tightened some restrictions, after prices rallied following a short-lived dip last year.
The curbs in Hong Kong have had little impact so far, with existing home prices rising to all-time highs amid brisk demand from buyers.
As prices in Hong Kong have continued to rise beyond the reach of most people, the city’s leaders have been dealing with rising discontent. Hong Kong retained the title of the world’s most expensive housing market in the annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey for the seventh year in a row, with the highest affordability score among more than 400 markets surveyed. While Singapore isn’t cheap, by any measure, tight regulations haven’t allowed affordability to “deteriorate to the acute levels” of cities such as Hong Kong, Demographia said in a report in January.
One of the main differences between Singapore and Hong Kong’s property markets is the public housing component. Singapore’s market is dominated by public housing, while in Hong Kong, it is just the reverse. That gives Singapore an additional tool to help keep a tight lid on prices.

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