Feb 20, 2012

PropertyGuru, Asia’s leading property portal, today released its latest Affordability Sentiment Survey results on property market sentiment in Singapore. It revealed that the majority of home buyers and investors expect the additional buyer’s stamp duty (ABSD) introduced in early December 2011 to lower property prices.

A significant 52 percent of those polled believe that prices will decline over the next six months, primarily attributed to the impact of the ABSD. The survey polled more than 3,000 respondents, nearly double the previous survey’s 1,737.

Analysis of the results shows that the seven-point increase in the affordability sentiment index was almost fully driven by the growing belief of a price decline in the next six months.

Around 48 percent of respondents (up from the previous 38 percent) expect HDB prices to drop, while 57 percent (up from 46 percent) believe that private home prices will also fall. In addition, 60 percent of respondents (an increase from 52 percent) expect cash-over-valuations (COVs) to drop.

Meanwhile, rentals are expected to decline, attributed to the availability of housing supply coming onstream.

“We expect to see property prices continue to soften during 2012. Consumers are adopting a wait-and-see approach to property purchase and investments and they are not convinced that the Government is doing enough to ease rising property prices,” said Steve Melhuish, CEO of PropertyGuru Group.

Buying intentions also fell as buyers wait for prices to decline. The public housing sector witnessed the largest drop at four percent, whereas 22 percent expressed their intention to buy a flat in the previous survey.

Much like the previous survey, almost half or 49 percent of respondents were dissatisfied with Singapore’s real estate climate. Their main concerns were prices, accounting for 39 percent and negative government policies at 18 percent.

“The ABSD has obviously had some immediate impact on sentiment. More Singaporeans now feel property prices will soften this year. This is not yet translating into demand, however. There’s a fair bit of ‘wait and see’ out there!” said David Black, Managing Director at Black Box Research, a market research firm that served as a survey partner.

Info courtesy -