iProperty H2 2014 Survey: Sellers Up, Buyers Down


Owners keen to sell while buyers expect price declines; HDB confidence rises.

The latest iProperty Asia Property Market Sentiment Report H2 2014, Asia’s largest consumer property sentiment survey, shows a significant shift in Singapore sentiment, with more wanting to sell (from one per cent to 16 per cent) and fewer wanting to buy now (from 22 per cent to ten per cent) as prices head lower. More respondents also expect new and resale private condominium prices will continue to decline (up from 34 per cent to 53 per cent), but are more confident about HDB values.

“The H2 2014 report shows that both property sellers and buyers are nervous a year after the start of the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR). In the H2 2013 APMSR report, just after the TDSR was announced, 59 per cent of owners were confident their property would retain its value; now only 38 per cent think so, a decline of 21 per cent.  Another 25 per cent are unsure if the value will be retained,” commented Mr. Sean Tan, iProperty.com Singapore General Manager.

“Buyers are biding their time, with affordability and financing as top concerns. While the number of respondents who intend to purchase within the next 24 months remains the same at 51 per cent, buyers may wait for new and resale private condo prices to fall,” said Mr. Tan.

Developers are already responding to the more cautious market, delaying new project launches and lowering launch prices, among other strategies. According to the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), developer launches decreased from 441 to 351 private homes last month. Median prices between Q1 2013 and Q2 2014 declined three per cent for completed projects, while declining eight per cent for uncompleted projects.

Singaporeans do however continue to view property as a good investment, stating rental income (34 per cent) and long-term investment (29 per cent) as the top reasons. Home ownership was at 23 per cent. Private condominiums (57 per cent) continue to be the top choice, with terrace houses at 25 per cent and HDBs at 23 per cent. Survey respondents chose price, location and potential ROI as the top three factors when purchasing properties.

“Singaporeans are confident about property and have the money. 17 per cent of respondents have identified budgets above $1 million; 61 per cent have budgeted between $500,000 and $1 million; and 18 per cent have less than a $500,000 budget. The market is now correcting after the rapid rise over the last few years ago, and demand is there at the right price point,” concluded Mr Tan.

Mr. Getty Goh, Director at real estate research and consultancy firm Ascendant Assets, noted that buyers are jumping in to purchase properties when prices are within expectation, or if they are in a good location. “Examples include the 91 per cent surge in sales in District 9 and 10 reported by Barclays, and more recently the good sales figures at Highline Residences,” said Mr. Goh.

The Highline Residences in Tiong Bahru, District 3, launched in September, saw a strong sales with 80 per cent of its 160 units launched, following a “special preview discount” that took prices from $2,000 per sq. ft. (psf) to an average of $1,900 psf. District 3 was selected as one of the top three preferred locations in the iProperty H2 2014 survey.

A large number of respondents (45 per cent) indicated lower price per square foot was more important than other incentives, such as furniture vouchers. The next most important criteria (40 per cent) were smaller unit sizes. CIMB has reported that median sizes of homes have fallen from 1,200 sq. ft. to 800 sq. ft., because “most buyers compromised on smaller units in order to keep the investment amount more affordable”.

52 per cent say HDB resale prices are not affordable, down from 53 per cent in the previous survey, and from 61 per cent before that. Only 15 per cent say HDB resale prices will continue to fall, down from 37 per cent in the previous survey. This shows pricing levels are becoming more comfortable for buyers.

Overseas Properties Popular For Investment Purposes; Malaysia #1 followed by Australia and the UK

Overseas property continues to appeal for investment, with private condominiums and serviced apartments as the preferred property type. In May 2014, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) reported that the value of overseas property investments handled by local real estate agencies increased by 43 per cent from S$1.4 billion in 2012 to S$2 billion in 2013. Malaysia accounted for slightly more than half of investments, followed by the United Kingdom and Australia.

Malaysia remains Singaporean’s top investment destination at 31 per cent. Most respondents (40 per cent) are willing to pay less than S$500,000 for overseas properties and the attractive exchange rate of the Malaysian currency against the Singapore dollar continues to draw Singaporeans. Iskandar Malaysia remains a stronghold for investors, with 58 per cent stating investment as a reason for purchase, while citing affordability (54 per cent) and proximity to Singapore (69 per cent) as positives.

Australia sees continued interest (18 per cent, down from 22 per cent) along with the United Kingdom (UK) (12 per cent up from 9 per cent). Australia appeals for its proximity, quality education and lifestyle. The UK draws interest for capital growth, yields and as a place for buyers’ children to live while they study. Recent exchange rate shifts have made investing in both locations more attractive.

Respondents also indicated a preference for seminars and exhibitions when purchasing overseas properties, with 53 per cent having purchased their overseas properties through developer shows/seminars/exhibitions in Singapore.

The APMSR is Asia’s largest consumer sentiment survey, with close to 13,000 respondents from four countries, including 2,805 in Singapore. The survey was conducted by iProperty Group from June to July 2014. For the full report, please refer to http://www.iproperty.com.sg/asia-property-sentiment-survey/download/.

iProperty Survey Shows Pricing Concern Amid Unshaken Confidence in Property

Consumers seek investment, private condominiums and overseas properties

Singapore, 30 April 2014 – The iProperty Asia Property Market Sentiment Report H1 2014 (APMSR), Asia’s largest consumer sentiment survey, reveals Singaporeans’ broad support for cooling measures and expectations of falling prices, while expressing unshaken confidence in property as an investment, both nationally and internationally. It also suggests growing pent-up demand, with private condominiums top of the purchase wish list.

iProperty.com Singapore General Manager, Mr. Sean Tan stated “The cooling measures have begun to lower prices, which respondents recognise and support. Property, in both Singapore and overseas remains a very attractive investment, and confidence in its long-term value is strong. The question now is when will buyers feel comfortable with adjusted prices and jump back in? With 51 per cent intending to buy a property within the next 24 months, there is a lot of pent-up demand.”

Survey respondents agree the implementation of the Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) and Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) have helped cool property prices, but many remain unsatisfied with current price levels. More than half (52 per cent) believe further cooling measures are required.

53 per cent say HDB resale prices are beyond the reach of the average Singaporean family. That is down from 61 per cent in the previous survey. 37 per cent feel HDB resale prices will continue to fall and 49 per cent say prices will not rise for the next three years. This may indicate pricing levels are becoming more comfortable for buyers. If half expect price stability, how long will they wait?

There is a huge jump in respondents who see property as a long-term investment – 53 per cent, up from 23 per cent. 23 per cent also intend to buy a property within the next 12 months, and an additional 28 per cent within the next one to two years. Over two-thirds (67 per cent) have a preference for new developments and more – 71 per cent up from 69 per cent – are interested in purchasing a private condominium.

“Although respondents are concerned with financing options, more than half (51 per cent) have a budget above S$800,000,” noted Mr. Tan, “Some developers are already pricing their projects or lowering prices of previously launched projects to within this range.”

Sentiments towards foreign property buyers remain volatile, with 72 per cent saying foreigners are driving up property prices. 43 per cent of respondents request more ownership restrictions on foreigners. This is despite falling transactions by foreign buyers; only seven per cent of property transactions were made by foreigners in 2013.

Overseas Investment – Malaysia Falls, Australia Rises

Singaporeans continue to view international properties as attractive; 42 per cent see overseas property as a good investment and private condominiums/serviced apartments are preferred by 67 per cent of respondents. 43 per cent of respondents intend to buy an overseas property within the next two years, 26 per cent within the next 12 months.

Interest in overseas property has shifted, with increased interest in Australia (22 per cent up from 19 per cent). Malaysia, which remains the top choice, declined from 39 per cent to 35 per cent. The UK and Thailand were next, each with nine per cent.

Malaysia remains the first choice for international investment, despite the country’s own cooling measures, including restrictions on properties below RM1 million and higher Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT). Interest in Iskandar Malaysia has declined to 51 per cent (down from 59 per cent), but the area remains appealing, as most high-end properties are above the RM1 million level. Even with those restrictions, 64 per cent of respondents cite ‘affordable property prices’ as the main reason for purchasing in Iskandar Malaysia. Additionally, Medini Iskandar is exempt from the RM1 million minimum price for foreign purchase.

Respondents continue to view the Iskandar Regional Development Authority positively, with 79 per cent (up 9 per cent) agreeing that Iskandar has been promoted well. Peace of mind and security, followed by lack of caveats and data, remain areas of concern.

“The survey shows consumers retain great confidence in the property sector. Prices are declining, and while buyers are currently hesitating, the appetite for property remains very strong, at both the national and international level. The property market will certainly see a revival in demand; the big question is when. Timing the market is always tough,” said Mr. Getty Goh, Director at real estate research and investment firm Ascendant Assets.

The APMSR is Asia’s largest consumer sentiment survey, with 18,500 respondents from four countries, including some 3,000 in Singapore. The survey was conducted by iProperty Group from December 2013 to January 2014.

Down the full report at http://www.iproperty.com.sg/asia-property-sentiment-survey/download/

iProperty Survey Shows Buyers Cautious, Owners Confident

iProperty.com has launched the Asia’s Biggest Property Sentiment Survey Report and received overwhelming response from consumers and members of the media. The one-of-a-kind survey enables interested parties to gain better perspectives of the property market, current consumer sentiments and how it will affect future property decisions. The findings of the report is featured on media such as Channel NewsAsia, TODAY Newspaper, Yahoo Finance! and many others. Feel free to click on respective media logo below to view their special reports on the iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiments Report.

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Download your own copy of the Asia Sentiment Consumer Survey Report. To better understand how the Singapore property market has evolved over the past few years, we have collaborated with Ascendant Assets Pte Ltd to analyse the 2013 H1 survey results.

View the special follow-up report by Ascendant Assets to shed light on the implications of the survey results. We hope the iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiments Report 2013 is a valuable source of information for you to understand the real estate market. Thank you for supporting us and making this possible.

Cooling Measures May Not Be Enough to Dampen Property Fever, Says iProperty

Consumer sentiments report says affordability remains a top concern; tighter restrictions seen to impact sales but not prices.

SINGAPORE, 4 February 2013 – The iProperty Group, owner of Asia’s No. 1 network of property portal sites under the iProperty brand (www.iproperty.com) today released its iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment Report (APMSR) H1 2013, revealing a continuing clamor for Government to heighten the affordability of public housing.

“Singapore property buyers understand that prices will continue to go up, but appreciate the Government stepping in to manage the pace and ensure that public housing will remain within their reach,” said Sean Tan, General Manager of iProperty.com Singapore.

Tan said the seventh round of cooling measures, which was announced on 12 January 2013, just two weeks after the survey was completed, would impact property sales but unlikely to make a dent in terms prices.

“The new measures would certainly make residential property buyers more cautious. In fact, the sentiments report already reflects this trend, with more than half of the consumers surveyed said they may be deferring their purchase much longer to up to two years. I think we can expect property sales to dip slightly as a result of the new measures, but prices will continue to go up, or at best, remain flat in 2013,” he added.

He continued, “However, low interest and high liquidity are expected to keep the property market buoyant, even in the face of tighter restrictions.”

Carried out in four markets – Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Hong Kong with a total of 17,303 respondents, including 2,099 from Singapore, the iProperty sentiments survey aims to provide property investors, buyers, sellers and owners – both locals and expatriates – with insights into the property market from a consumers’ perspective.

In Singapore, rising property prices resurfaced as a top concern, and sentiments lean towards Government taking a more active stance to decelerate the increases.

While respondents seemed to favour stricter market restrictions, a surprising 70% indicated that they were likely to support government moves to allow singles to buy new HDB flats, a reversal of the current rules that limit HDB flat ownership to singles over the age of 35 who purchase on the open market. Changing the rules would allow singles, too, to enjoy the benefits of subsidized public housing.

Key findings include:

  • 64% of the survey respondents felt the current resale prices of HDB flats are not affordable to the average Singaporean family
  • 50% of survey respondents predicted prices will continue to rise over the next three years despite an increased supply of build-to-order (BTO) flats
  • 67% of those surveyed opined that government should take more active steps to cool the market
  • 41% of the respondents felt that the government is not doing enough to ensure sufficient housing is available to foreigners

Overall, the forecast for the Singapore property market in 2013 remains positive, with 55 % of respondents unfazed by fears of a property bubble. Majority of respondents (66%) are confident that their property will retain its value in 2013.

Market Realities

The report also revealed an interesting alignment between consumers’ preferred measures to curb HDB price increases and the government’s approach.

Respondents’ felt HDB prices could be better controlled if the Government were to adopt measures such as, imposing stricter guidelines for permanent residents subletting or selling their HDB flats (45%); putting a cap on resale prices of HDB flats (30%); and putting a levy on subletting HDB flats (25%).

“The issues and proposed solutions that figured prominently were addressed in the latest round of cooling measures. It is a testament to how the study reflects market realities,” Tan added.

To deliver more useful insights to property buyers and sellers, iProperty.com Singapore has partnered with Ascendant Assets Pte Ltd, one of Singapore’s real estate research consultancies, to analyse the sentiments and how the trends have evolved over the past few years.

“In the 2013 survey, about 72% of the respondents indicated that they do not intend to buy a property in the next one year. For consumers, it is not easy to fathom what 72% means.  However, if consumers know that only 38% gave that answer the year before, it would definitely be more telling. We are working with iProperty.com Singapore to identify these underlying trends so that the study can become a truly invaluable tool that consumers can use in deciding when, where and what to buy,” said Getty Goh, Director of Ascendant Assets Pte Ltd.

Download full report at http://www.iproperty.com.sg/asia-property-market-sentiment-report.


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Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey reveals nearly two thirds of Singaporeans in the market to purchase property in the next 12 months

Many looking at overseas investment opportunities

Despite rising house prices and concerns about affordability, a survey has revealed that 62% of Singaporeans still intend to purchase property in the next six to twelve months. This is one of the key findings of the iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment Report (H2) 2012 released by the iProperty Group, owner of Asia’s No.1 network of property portals, today.

“While housing affordability remains a major concern for consumers in Singapore, with many adopting a wait-and-see approach, the majority of Singaporeans are still actively looking to purchase property in the short to mid-term,” says Sean Tan, General Manager, iProperty.com Singapore. “This suggests that despite the economic situation in Europe and the US, which has slowed demand from some of Singapore’s key trading partners, the sentiment among consumers in the Singapore real estate market remains positive.”

Survey findings also revealed that 38% of respondents in Singapore were considering investing overseas with Malaysia and Australia being the two favoured destinations. The Singapore figure was noticeably higher than for consumers in Hong Kong (15%), Indonesia (32%), and Malaysia (19%).

“It’s not surprising that people are looking outside of Singapore for investment opportunities. Singapore’s currency is one of the strongest in the region and house prices are among the highest. For many, this makes overseas investment a more attractive proposition than investing locally,” added Tan.

Other findings in the report showed that 86% of people surveyed in Singapore cited affordability and rising house prices as their biggest concern about the local property market. Respondents also felt strongly about ensuring the affordability of HDB flats. 80% came out in favour of the Singapore Government’s continued involvement in maintaining the price of resale HDB flats at affordable levels. Additionally, 63% feel that the Government should step up its efforts in monitoring the number of shoebox apartments in a residential development.

Summary of key findings:

•    62% of Singapore survey respondents indicated that they were in the market to purchase a property in the next six to twelve months.

•    38% of the survey respondents showed a keen interest in investing in overseas property, significantly higher than all the other countries surveyed

•    86% of people surveyed in Singapore cited affordability and rising house prices as their biggest concern about the Singapore property market.

•    80% of respondents felt strongly that the Singapore Government should continue to be involved in maintaining the prices of resale HDB flats at an affordable level.

•    63% of those surveyed feel that the Singapore government should step up in its efforts to monitor the number of shoebox apartments in a residential development.

The iProperty.com Asia Property Market Sentiment Survey 2012 was carried out in July 2012 and attracted over 25,000 respondents. The iProperty Group leveraged on its market leading websites in Malaysia (iproperty.com.my), Hong Kong (GoHome.com.hk), Indonesia (Rumah123.com and rumahdanproperti.com) and Singapore (iproperty.com.sg) to gauge the opinions of consumers on the property market. The majority of the survey respondents were between 26 and 50 years old and mainly held executive/managerial and professional level positions with an annual income above the national average. 2,983 respondents from Singapore took part.

Asian Overview
The survey findings revealed interesting and valuable insights on how consumers from Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore viewed the property market. Key regional highlights include:

•    Respondents in Malaysia and Indonesia preferred landed property, while respondents in Hong Kong and Singapore opted for private condominiums/serviced apartments as their property of interest.

•    Affordability and rising house prices continue to remain the biggest concerns for survey respondents in all four markets.

•    Majority of the respondents in each country had occupied their current premises for less than five years. The survey reveals that many respondents aspire to upgrade their current living conditions once every five years on average.

•    Location was the highest rated factor for respondents in Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore. Respondents in Hong Kong, however, rated price to be most important factor in determining the purchase of property.

Similar to previous survey findings, location and price were still the two key factors that survey respondents viewed as important, ahead of political/economic climate, when deciding to purchase a property.

“In Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, location trumped price whereas respondents in Hong Kong viewed price to be the key factor,” says Shaun Di Gregorio, CEO of the iProperty Group. “In the property industry, location and price are the most important factors that any property buyer and investor should look into before embarking on what is said to be their biggest investment.”


Download Asia Property Market Sentiment Report H2 2012


About iProperty.com Singapore (www.iProperty.com.sg)

iProperty.com Singapore, part of the iProperty Group Limited, is the country’s number 1 property website with more than 600,000 property listings in Singapore and the rest of Asia, and over 700,000 monthly unique visitors. Working with more than 14,000 real estate agents, iProperty.com.sg hosts the most comprehensive online database of properties for sale and rent in Singapore and powers the real estate channels and property content of xinMSN, ThinkProperty.com.sg, Sg-House.com, iLuxuryAsia.com, PropertyZone.sg, CNTV.cn, Mitula.com, CommercialAsia.com and StreetSine.com. Every month, the website helps tens of thousands of Singaporeans, expatriates and foreigners find their dream homes or investment properties.

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All it takes is 3 minutes of your time to complete the survey to be in the running for the prizes. Your participation is greatly appreciated as your views and sentiments will provide invaluable insights on the Singapore property market and Asian property market trends.

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iProperty.com Singapore Asia Property Sentiments Survey Contest

Another 50 winners will walk away with a S$20 Crabtree & Evelyn gift voucher, which can be redeemed at any Crabtree & Evelyn store in Singapore and is valid until 31 December 2012.

All it takes is 3 minutes of your time to complete the survey to be in the running for the prizes. Your participation is greatly appreciated as your views and sentiments will provide invaluable insights on the Singapore property market and Asian property market trends.

After you have completed the survey, another page will open for you to enter the contest. Please provide your particulars to be eligible for the contest. You can be assured that your personal particulars will be kept strictly private and confidential, and your responses are not personally identifying.

Kindly note that all survey questions must be answered and the last day to complete the survey and join this contest is 30 December 2011.

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Home buyers in Singapore positive about prices of public housing

Survey results by iProperty.com.sg signal increased confidence in market stability

Recent government measures taken to address concerns surrounding the public housing market appear to have brought about some positive sentiments among home buyers, as demonstrated by a recent Poll conducted by iProperty.com.sg, Singapore’s number one property website.

The poll, conducted from August to November this year, asked respondents for their opinions on whether public housing prices will stabilise within the next three to five years – as mentioned by Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan earlier this year. 1,033 participants responded to the poll.

Key findings as follows:

1.   More than a third of respondents (36.9%) believe that three to five years is a fair assessment for public housing prices to stabilise.

2.   Trailing slightly behind are 31.9% of respondents who, on the other hand, think that prices will never stabilise and more radical measures need to be taken.

3.   19.9% of respondents think that the government is doing a stellar job and prices will stabilise over the next 1 to 2 years.

4.   11.3% thinks approximately 5 to 7 years is needed for prices to stabilise.

From the findings, it can be seen that a clear majority – 56.8% – are of the opinion that the government is either on track or will likely exceed expectations on their three-to-five year projection to cool the public housing market.

However, a significant minority – 43.2% – remain skeptical that public housing prices will stabilise in the timeframe put forward. Further to this, a large portion of this group – 31.9% of respondents – appear unconvinced of the current measures adopted by the government and feel further action needs to be taken.

Much of the positive sentiment can be attributed to the range of measures and plans the government had rolled out in the second half of the year. These measures include a series of new Built-to-Order (BTO) launches in July, September and November, injecting several thousand new units into the market. These include developments in highly-coveted mature estates such as Bedok, Yishun and Hougang. Complementing this were recent announcements made to enhance chances for repeat applicants bidding for new units, lifting of the income ceiling for Executive Condominiums, and for Barrier-Free Accessibility (BFA) features to be made available across all HDB estates by the end of December 2011.

“The findings of our Poll paint an encouraging picture, showing that measures taken by the government have borne some fruit,” said Shaun Di Gregorio, Chief Executive Officer of iProperty Group Limited. “However, as encouraging as these numbers are, we should also not forget that there is still a significant level of dissatisfaction still pervading the market.”

Referring in particular to the 31.9% of respondents who said that prices will never stabilise, Shaun Di Gregorio said that what the government does in the next six to 12 months will be crucial in winning over this group of skeptics. Key issues that may have contributed to this outlook include the pricing of units under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and exceptionally high cash-over-valuation figures for some highly sought-after resale units.

“Affordability and lack of suitable options will continue to be the two most important factors for home buyers. While we are seeing a gradually-increasing level of positivity in the market, other concerns, such as the still-increasing price of property and fears of a potential economic downturn in 2012, will be key considerations that may mean the difference between a positive and less-than-positive 2012 for potential home buyers,” he added.