Monday, August 30, 2010

PM Lee says cooling measures on the way



Is the party over?

Cooling measures for the private property market are going to be announced, and we suspect Monday is going to be dominated by property related headlines. But the question is - is this going to be the "big one"?

"PM Lee also announced that the government will move to cool the private property market, but did not give details. 'Otherwise you will remember nothing else about my speech,' he said, to laughter from the audience at the University Cultural Centre." - www.straitstimes.com

And if you listen carefully enough, we think you can hear the sound of unexercised "options" being torn up all across Singapore beyond the laughter of the audience.

Already across property discussion boards, wild speculation on what measures are going to be put in place are spreading like wildfire. Some think draconian measures such as "capital gains tax" will be brought back for property while some think it will be another light slap on the wrist.

Among some arguments for "the big one" are:

- Election is surely coming with an A+ report card. Populist measures will take place
- Too many light slaps on wrists already
- PM Lee has spoken.

Anyway, here is the point summary taken from the MND website on the property segment covered in the National Day Rally Speech:


Housing

a.         People concerned about housing prices going up

b.         Some blame it on foreigners

            i.          No doubt foreigners and immigrants contribute to housing demand

            ii.         But also broader economic forces at work

                         (1)       In 1H last year property prices fell even though there were many foreigners here

                         (2)       This year, property prices up, and also in China and Hong Kong

c.          We are managing immigration to make sure we do not become too overcrowded

d.         Commitment: will always keep HDB flats within reach of Singaporeans

             i.          Affordable

             ii.         Adequate supply

e.         HDB:

             i.          Building more HDB flats – 16,000 this year, up to 22,000 next year

             ii.         Expediting completion of BTO flats

             iii.        Emphasising home ownership: tightening rules on private property owners buying HDB resale flats

f.          ECs and DBSS:

             i.          “Sandwich group” – couples earning $8,000 to $10,000

             ii.         Presently can buy ECs with a $30,000 CPF grant

             iii.        But anxious of falling in between

                         (1)       Not eligible for HDB

                         (2)       Unable to afford private property

             iv.        Will do more to help them own homes

             v.         Will widen choice beyond ECs, to allow them to buy HDB DBSS flats

                         (1)       With $30,000 grant but no government loan

             vi.        Release more land for ECs and DBSS

g.         Private property:

            i.          Have acted to cool market twice

            ii.         Need to do more

h.         MND will announce details tomorrow


So is this the "big one"? Bigger cash downpayment? Stamp duty? Higher property tax for investment property?

As posted in h88.com.sg by Francis

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