RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Daily Briefing: Home buys without CPF savings could slash prices by 10-20%; Analysts bullish on HDB resales

And Singapore's tourism chief exits with a historical record of tourism receipts worth $26.8b.

From TTG Asia:

The Singapore Tourism Board (STB) is expected to announce a new CEO as Lionel Yeo is reaching the end of his second three-year term next month. He is leaving the board with a high note as 2017 saw record tourism receipts worth $26.8b.

"He is leaving the STB position on a high note, with both visitor arrivals and tourism receipts reaching historical highs – 17.4 million and S$26.8 billion (US$20 billion) respectively in 2017 over 2016, contributing about four per cent to Singapore’s GDP. But beyond the headline numbers, Yeo is widely credited for taking Singapore tourism through the industry’s changing landscape in the past six years.

Among his clarion calls are the need to focus on yield-driven quality growth, and for STB and tourism industry players to collaborate, innovate and create value together for increasingly discerning travellers."

Read more here.

From ValuePenguin:

According to ValuePenguin, Singapore's residential market could suffer from weak demand and prices if ever CPF savings were disallowed from being used in buying homes. This followed an economist's suggestion in president Halimah Yacob's call for policy suggestions

"The measure was proposed in order to address inadequate retirement saving. This could be a logical concern, as putting a significant amount of one's retirement into home may leave them with too few remaining assets to retire comfortably, especially given the uncertainties around the 99-year HDB lease.

This proposal would likely have a massive impact on the housing market—over the past decade, around S$82 billion was withdrawn from CPF accounts in order to purchase HDB flats...In the long run, it seems reasonable to expect that HDB prices could drop by 10-20% as developers acquiesce to consumers' reduced purchasing power while prospective buyers take longer to build enough savings to buy a flat."

Read more here.

From iCompareLoan via Yahoo! Finance:

Even if the public housing market has not kept up with the growth of the private market, analysts forecast that there will be more demand for HDB resale flats to drive public housing prices up.

"The public housing market however has not kept up with the private residential market. Median resale prices of Housing & Development Board (HDB) flats continued to drop even as the public housing developer announced the release of thousands of new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats. In late April, the HDB today announced that the Resale Price Index (RPI) of HDB flats fell by 0.8 per cent, from 132.6 in 4th Quarter 2017 to 131.6 in 1st Quarter 2018.

It is however unlikely that the HDB resale prices will continue to free-fall. Analysts are almost unanimous in predicting that there will be more demand for HDB resale flats in the near future, which may drive up the prices of public housing. PropNex Realty CEO Ismail Gafoor, for example, said that there may be 'a greater demand for HDB resale properties with some en bloc owners considering bigger sized resale flats in the second half of the year'. Mr Ismail believes that HDB resale prices could climb by 1 per cent this year, especially given the ongoing en bloc fever."

Read more here.

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