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MAS: Still premature to relax property cooling measures

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Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said on 21 July that it is still too early to lift property curbs, dashing hopes of a market rebound this year: “Property prices have softened somewhat, but like I said last year, in the context of the price increase that had occurred — 60 per cent over three years — the softening we have seen is really not all that much.

So, it’s still premature to consider removing any of the cooling measures that are in place,” Mr Menon said at the central bank’s annual report media briefing on 21 July.

Since the global financial crisis in 2008, housing prices started increasing in 2009 and hit their peak in the third quarter of 2013.

The property market has cooled since then, but more so after MAS slapped on the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) in June 2013 to ease buyer speculation and raise credit practices by financial institutions.

Flash estimates from Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) in July showed that private residential properties fell for the seventh consecutive quarter since its peak in 2013.

However, the total price correction was less than seven per cent from its highest in 2013, bolstering the need for further cooling measures.

While the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS) has continuously urged the Government to relax property curbs as it “hurts foreign investment flows”, others such as Mr Leong Wai Ho, Economist at Barclays said to TODAY that the cooling measures are fair from a policy point of view to re-engineer home affordability.

Taken from iProperty

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Guest Monday, 13 July 2020