Survey shows S’poreans still keen to invest in property

Despite the economic uncertainties in Europe, many Singaporeans are still keen to invest in a new property. A recent survey by PropertyGuru, an online property site, found that seven in 10 home hunters will buy a property in the next 24 months. The private residential market remains resilient with a bumper sale of 2,207 new units in April.

Private apartments are hot property, and public housing flats are also enjoying good demand since the second half of 2009. Announcing its survey results at the sidelines of the Cityscape Conference, PropertyGuru said that market sentiment remains strong in the near term. Steve Melhuish, CEO, PropertyGuru, said: “Some of the drivers for that are the interest rates are still low – so cost of borrowing is very low – and people’s general wealth has continued increasing. “So if you look at just HDB, prices have increased 45 per cent in the last three years, so if you bought a HDB (flat) three years ago, you will be 45 per cent better off in terms of value of property.” Its survey findings found that 75 per cent of home seekers hope to buy a property within the next two years, while four in 10 want to upgrade to a better unit in the next 12 months.

PropertyGuru added that only seven per cent of those polled wish to downgrade to a smaller apartment. The respondents also expect property prices to rise by six to 10 per cent in the next year. PropertyGuru said that the majority of them felt that homes are generally too expensive. Mr Melhuish said: “But what was interesting in our survey, which was actually conducted after all these government measures, was that 75 per cent of those surveyed said property prices were still unaffordable and still too expensive. “And out of those people who said that, 58 per cent said that the government measures to cool the market were not enough, and they wanted to see even tougher measures to cool the market down.” PropertyGuru expects total home sales for the year to range between 13,000 and 14,000 units, which is line with analysts’ forecast of 13,000 to 16,000 homes. The survey polled 2,208 respondents between April 1 and May 12 this year. Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 May 2010

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