By Wong Siew Ying | POSTED: 20 Aug 2013 5:49 PM | CNA


74 per cent of Singapore home buyers are delaying their property purchases, and 59 per cent of the respondents surveyed are confident prices will not decline.

According to a recent survey conducted by property website iProperty Group, 60 per cent of the Singapore respondents have called for additional cooling measures. This compares to 27 per cent who do not want further cooling measures.

The portal said 68 per cent of respondents surveyed prefer new launches, compared to 22 per cent opting for resale units.

51 per cent of buyers are purchasing homes for long-term investment, up from the previous survey’s 30 per cent .

Condominiums remain a popular option, with 68 per cent interested in private condominiums, 35 per cent in HDB flats and 16 per cent in terrace houses.

Meanwhile,.iProperty said the survey of 2,825 Singapore respondents revealed that most owners remain confident about value protection and are generally not expecting declines.

More Singapore home buyers are also considering overseas property investment, increasing from 38 per cent in 2012 to 40 per cent in the recent survey.

Iskandar Malaysia is the most commonly cited overseas option, with 59 per cent of home buyers having considered the option — in recent months, residential projects in Iskandar — including those in the Medini and Danga Bay areas — have attracted good take-up from Singaporeans.

iProperty said developers in Iskandar typically set aside a third of the units for Singaporeans, with Malaysians still accounting for the majority of buyers.

Over the next three months, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority will be working with iProperty to conduct roadshows in the region — in Johor Bahru, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore.

Sean Tan, general manager of Singapore, said: “We are trying to bring them into Hong Kong as a first port of call so that they can have a good sense of what the response is going to be like from the China market. They also want to attract developers to come in to buy more land in the Iskandar region to develop it further.”

Market watchers said as Iskandar attracts more investors, buyers should watch prices closely.

Getty Goh, director of Ascendant Assets, said: “We are starting to see over-pricing starting to set in. A lot of anecdotal examples that we have seen is that six months ago, one year ago, things that were going at RM500,000 is now going for RM700,000 or even RM1 million, all this happened in just a few months.

“We are now seeing a situation where prices are now a bit too pricey. In time to come, the real question is will there be any more upside potential?”

Meanwhile, property consultancy Chestern Singapore said prices in Iskandar have grown at a faster pace compared to other Malaysian cities.

For example, average home prices in Johor had been 30 to 40 per cent lower than Kuala Lumpur previously. However, the recent run up in prices has reduced the gap by more than half.

Analysts attribute the rapid price growth to impulse buying, the growth outlook for Iskandar and the announcement of the high-speed rail network between Singapore and Malaysia.

Donald Han, managing director of Chestern Singapore, said: “At some point, price growth will start to slow because there is a huge supply — 20,000 to 22,000 units currently under planning and construction.

“So do not use your last 12 months as a means to project what your end growth capital appreciation will be. Rather, look at the last 10 years, where prices have moved, and I think likely within 5 to 10 per cent is more achievable.”

Should prices continue to grow unabated, analysts said the Malaysia government could introduce measures to cool the market.

Some industry watchers expect 250,000 new homes to be built in Johor over the next five to seven years.

Separately, the survey found that consumers in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and Singapore continue to view affordability of homes as a major concern, despite the cooling measures introduced by the various governments in Asia.

The regional survey attracted close to 30,000 respondents, with the majority between 26 and 50 years old.

– CNA/ac