ECONOMY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: SGD facing fourth annual drop; Over 100 property agencies close down

And Chinese buyers shun Singapore.

Nirgunan Tiruchelvam, an equities analyst at Religare Capital Markets in Singapore, says he’s been reducing his exposure to the local dollar by boosting investments in the U.S. currency since the middle of last year. The timing couldn’t have been much better. The Singapore dollar is set for a record fourth annual decline against the greenback after tumbling 6.6 percent last year, its worst performance since the Asian crisis in 1997. Read more here.

The number of new property agents joining the industry fell sharply to 1,299 in 2015, compared to 3,006 in 2014 and 3,336 in 2013, revealed latest figures from the Council for Estate Agencies (CEA). As at 1 January 2016, there were 29,262 registered property agents in Singapore, down from 30,830 and 31,783 in 2015 and 2014 respectively. Find out more here.

Discouraged by the high taxes in Singapore, fewer foreigners are purchasing private homes here, leaving the market to rely on local buyers, reported Reuters. Data compiled by DTZ showed that foreigners, including permanent residents, purchased 499 homes in Q4 2015. This accounted for around 16 percent of total transactions, down from 30 percent recorded in Q3 2011 just before the introduction of the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty. Read more here.

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