, Singapore

Chart of the Day: Unemployment rate rose to 2.4 as private home sales declined in Q1

Over-all sales declined to 2,148 from 9,912.

This chart from PropNex research shows that the unemployment rate rose 1 percentage point (ppt) Q1 to 2.4% compared to 2019, as overall sales of private new homes declined from 9,912 to 2,148 over the same period.

PropNex notes that in view of the weak economic outlook, a key downside risk on home demand and prices is the unemployment rate in Singapore as job and income security have been a rising concern in a pandemic-hit world. Data showed that unemployment rate correlates closely with home purchase, barring some exceptions.

In 2003, new home sales plunged when unemployment hit 4% due to the impact of SARS. However, at other times, other factors contributed to lower sales. They included a crisis of confidence in the wake of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), and the impact of new cooling measures. Notably, despite an unemployment rate of 3% in 2009, sales thrived which was likely spurred by prospects of an economic recovery and weaker confidence in financial investment products following the GFC.

The pandemic is expected to hit the job market. Nevertheless, the government’s efforts and commitment towards transforming the Singapore economy, focusing on new growth sectors, attracting talent, as well as protecting livelihoods and creating new jobs should support employment.

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