Singapore Property Outlook 2014


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A holistic view of the Singapore property market in 2014 with statistics insights and expert panel take on the property market.
Also included, overseas investment consideration in some recommended countries.

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Singapore Property Outlook 2014

  1. 1. Market Outlook 2014 Challenges and opportunities: What to look out for in the year ahead.
  2. 2. Table of Contents ................................................... 02 Preface ............................................................... 03 Glossary of Terms .................................................. 04 Executive Summary ................................................ 05 2013: The year in review .................................... ... ... 06 - Cooling Measures and the reduction in property demand ....................................................... 07 - Transaction volumes take a dip ..................................... 11 - The fluctuating nature of prices ..................................... 16 - Why Executive Condos were highly sought after .......... 20 - The vital role that interest rates played ......................... 22 - Housing supply set to increase ....................................... 25 - Property seekers weigh in .............................................. 28 Forecast: And now in 2014 ...................................... .. . 32 - More HDB BTOs: Too much of a good thing? ....................... 33 - HDB Resale Market: What goes up must come down .......... 37 - Where are demand and prices in the EC Market headed?.. 41 - The Private Property roller coaster continues ..................... 47 - The Guru View for the 2014 ................................................. 53 Japan: Follow the big boys .......................................... 57 Why Thailand deserves a second look ........................... 59 UK: Look outside London ................................. ......... 61 Malaysia in 2014: Still a property hotspot or fading star? .... 62 Galloping ahead into the New Year ............................... 64 About Us ......................................................... ......... 68 Disclaimer ............................................................. 69 Credits .................................................................. 70 Table of Contents 2
  3. 3. Preface Greetings, And a warm welcome to property enthusiasts everywhere! We are very pleased to announce the launch of The PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 eBook. A Singapore first, this book is the culmination of our unique leadership position in property listings, an expansive agent network, developer partnerships – as well as rich consumer and investor relationships. Leveraging high quality government data and its own unique information, PropertyGuru established a Data Analytics Division with a simple objective: to make new property analysis and insights available for property buyers, sellers, investors – and for those simply wishing to understand the value of their own homes, or where the market is heading in 2014. This document analyses and reflects on the property market in 2013 and uses this information to project likely pricing, supply and property demand – and value trends in 2014. It also includes industry expert opinions to provide a comprehensive and rounded view. You may also be interested to learn about the changing property sentiment, recommendations for the top property picks in 2014, or the outlook for mortgage rates. While 2013 proved to be a pivotal year for the Singapore market, it set property value trends in place that are vital to understand in 2014. Cooling measures, the effect of transaction volumes on the market, access to competitive mortgage finance – what all these will mean for property choices and the prices that people can expect are part of the complete market picture that this eBook represents. Our hope is that you’ll find the information useful, interesting and informative in 2014 - whichever part of the property cycle you move into. Naturally, we always welcome and encourage your feedback. And remember to visit to learn more about specific properties, markets and breaking news. Thank you - and we wish you thoughtful and informative reading! Steve Melhuish Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer PropertyGuru Group 3
  4. 4. Glossary of Terms ABSD Additional Buyers Stamp Duty BTO Build-to-order CCR Core Central Region COV Cash over valuation ECs Executive condominiums HDB Housing Development Board MAS Monetary Authority of Singapore MOP Minimum Occupation Period MSR Mortgage Servicing Ratio OCR Outside Central Region PRs Permanent residents psf per square foot RCR Rest of Central Region e-SERS Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme TDSR Total Debt Servicing Ratio 4
  5. 5. Executive Summary u The cooling measures had their intended effect of reducing demand – slowing activity and transaction volumes, then slowly softening prices. u The measures were reflected in declining Q1 and Q2 volumes followed by a typical lag effect – declining prices in Q3 & Q4. 2014 will reflect the market trends begun in 2013 u HDBs are expected to see an 8-11 percent decline in prices and a drop in the number of properties transacted by 15-20 percent. u Private non-landed properties are forecast to drop by a lesser 6-8 percent and will also see reduced transaction volumes. u In 2014, overall property supply will increase strongly – but this supply will focus on specific property types, such as HDBs and Executive Condos (ECs). u Over the next three years, ECs will experience a large increase in supply from 2013 levels. Much of this will be in 2015 and 2016; however, 2014 is expected to see alleviated psf price pressure – due also to the removal of the favoured policy status of ECs. what does this mean for you? u First-home buyers will be provided with more choice in 2014, due to the commitment to increase supply dramatically and existing developer plans to supply more ECs. u Upgraders may increasingly adopt a more relaxed wait-and-see approach to the market as new supply, declining prices and cooling measures reduce demand - and prices soften. u Investors are expected to be more selective in Singapore as the perception of the market being ‘fully priced’ – and attractive overseas options – remove the urgency to purchase. 2013 was a pivotal year for the Singaporean property market, displaying a characteristic relationship between declining transaction volumes and, later, price declines. 5
  6. 6. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 6 TableofContents Share Last year saw fundamental changes in Singapore’s property market which have laid the groundwork for the market we can expect to see during 2014. Of particular importance during 2013 were: u Government cooling measures. u Declining property transactions. u Average time to transact property increased. u Property prices peaked, then declined. u Interest rates bottoming out. u Immigration / Population growth. u Increased property supply. u Sentiments about property affordability slowly shifting from less to more positive. 2013The year in review Each of these developments impacted the market in turn, and will continue to affect the market well into 2014. This report looks at these factors separately, and what they mean for the market. It also considers the likely consequences – and offers the Guru View on the market and what can be expected for the remainder of 2014.
  7. 7. 2013REVIEW cooling measures andthe reductionin property demand e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  8. 8. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 8 TableofContents Share Cooling measures and the reduction in property demand n The double threat of Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) and reduction of maximum loan tenure Introduction of the TDSR framework would mean a property buyer’s total repayment obligations cannot exceed 60 percent of his/her income. This, coupled with a shorter monthly repayment period of up to 30 years for bank loans, severely limits the upgrader’s/investor’s access to capital and the total amount that he/she is allowed to borrow. n Reduction of MSR to 30 percent for HDB loans This measure reduces the debt leverage in the HDB market, which drives prices higher. Hence, this new restriction reduces demand and subdues prices for HDBs. n Rise in ABSD by 7 percent for purchase of more than one property This is a larger tax on purchasing more property, reducing demand and price pressures. However, transaction volumes remained high after its introduction, indicating that it was a relatively weak measure for cooling the market. n 3-year bar period on the purchase of HDB resale flats This measure discourages a large portion of PRs from participating in the market for resale HDBs, thereby reducing demand and upward pressure on prices for that segment. n Rise in Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) for PRs by 5-7 percent for purchase of first or subsequent properties Another measure to reduce demand and the pressure on prices by making purchases more expensive for PRs, who make up about 10 percent of the total population in Singapore. n PRs who own a flat are disallowed from subletting the whole flat This measure removes incentive for PRs to ‘buy-for-rent’, thereby reducing overall demand and upward pressure on prices. n PRs must sell their HDB flats within six months of purchasing a private property This puts more resale HDBs on the market for sale, thereby increasing their supply, providing more choice for Singaporeans, and placing downward pressure on prices. z upgraders/local investor n Reduction of maximum loan tenure to 25 years for Housing Development Board (HDB) flats Shorter time period means prospective first-time home buyers need to meet higher repayments each month. n Reduction of the Mortgage Servicing Ratio (MSR) to 30 percent for HDB loans Restricting the maximum amount of mortgage debt reduces demand in the market and creates a safety margin for the borrower should mortgage rates increase. z First-time home buyers z Permanent residents (PRs) and FOREIGNERS
  9. 9. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 9 TableofContents Share This section can be summarised in two words: demand reduction. Through these measures, the government’s objective was to deliberately slow the market and also manage the price growth of certain property types. Combined, they have reduced the total mortgage debt in the market – or the leverage in the industry – by: The measures have curtailed property demand by reducing the individual’s access to new finance to purchase property. This in turn has reduced the demand for property where the measures have been targeted. One immediate effect of these measures was to extend the time taken to sell property in the market. Effectively, this helped turn a sellers’ market into a buyers’ market. More choices were available to those buyers that remained in the market. There was also less time pressure on the purchase, improving the negotiating position for the buyer who is prepared to wait for the right property at the right price. Later sections in this report look at reduced demand and what that means for the market in 2014. a Cooling measures and the reduction in property demand 2013 was the year where the government made strategic decisions to reduce the price inflation of HDBs and ECs, and to limit the purchase of condos by foreigners. n Measuring debt ratios across both mortgage servicing and the total debt carried. n Calculating ratios at a higher industry-wide standard interest rate of 3.5 percent. n Altering these rules depending on how many properties are owned. n Targeting some buyer groups, such as PRs and foreigners, more than others. n Targeting specifically the HDB and EC segments.
  10. 10. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 10 TableofContents Share Cooling measures and the reduction in property demand Source: PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey
  11. 11. TRANSACTION VOLUMES takeadip 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  12. 12. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 12 TableofContents Share Transaction volumes are critical but often overlooked when measuring and forecasting trends in a property market. In 2013, the declining trend in transaction volumes provided just such a ‘forward indicator,’ with volumes serving as a key market driver for prices in 2014. Put simply, transaction volume trends usually precede and drive price trends. Typically there is also a lag of around six months for this to occur. This happens in most property markets around the world. When all other factors are stable, transaction volumes can be a very reliable predictor of price growth or fall – and so volume serves as a very simple and extremely powerful forward view of expected price trends for the coming year. Perhaps this relationship is best illustrated by example, for instance, Hong Kong - Singapore’s sister economy. HONG KONG: An example of the relationship between transaction volume and price Hong Kong has provided an arguably extreme but instructive example of the relationship between transaction volumes and future prices. Transaction volumes take a dip This is useful when looking at the transaction volumes in Singapore in 2013 – and their likely effects going forward. In Hong Kong, volumes declined significantly in mid-2013. Only some seven months later – in January 2014 – there was a double digit market price decline. Interestingly, by the middle of 2013 journalists were already confident enough – based on the transaction data – to suggest that the drop in transaction volumes signalled significant price declines to follow. There are three relevant points for Singapore to note from this: n The relationship between volume and pricing is a universal feature of property markets; it is very likely that Singapore prices will be affected by the same relationships in 2014. n The relationship is solid enough for commentators to use it confidently as a price predictor. n The ‘lag effect’ between volume and price changes is consistent, and in a range typically of between five to nine months.
  13. 13. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 13 TableofContents Share HDB Resale Transaction Volumes in 2013 Looking first at HDB resales, we see a distinct downward trend in volumes from Q3 2012. Over the course of 2013, transaction volumes continued to decline steadily. Again, the relationship between transaction volume and price is clearly visible, with prices peaking some nine months after volumes peaked. Prices then begin to decline in response to the earlier falling transaction volumes. The nine-month lag period is very evident. The significant transaction volume declines in 2013 of approximately 8 percent in Q4 2012 will continue to influence the prices of HDB properties, at least well into Q3 of 2014. Condo Transaction Volumes in 2013 The chart below shows the total volume of transactions in the private market. These are plotted against the Singapore property price index. Q1 2013 saw a decline in volumes from previous years. Corresponding prices peaked in Q3 of 2013 – thus following the same pattern. However, the decline in volumes was not significant until the second half of 2013. As such, the corresponding decline in prices was also only slight in the last quarter of the year. At the same time, it is price that affects upgraders the most, given the spate of cooling measures imposed on the market. Therefore, some upgraders may choose to play the waiting game and defer purchases until market forces dictate that prices drop even further - or when upcoming launches offer more attractive entry prices to offset the downside risks in property purchasing. The two weak quarters of Q3 and Q4 2013 strongly suggest renewed and much stronger downward pressure on prices in the first half of 2014. Transaction volumes take a dip Source: Housing Development Board (HDB)
  14. 14. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 14 TableofContents Share Transactions have experienced a significant dip of about 58 percent since the middle of 2013, at least partly as a result of market sentiment turning cautious and the inability to actually borrow sufficient amounts to buy. These effects have followed the announcement of tighter Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) financing regulations, namely TDSR and MSR in late June, and their earlier ABSD changes. What’s interesting is that not only have these measures resulted in consecutive quarters of decline in transactions in Q3 and Q4, but they have also caused total volume to return to 2008 levels in the condo market. WATCH VIDEO: Industry analysts share their inisghts into how the CCR, RCR and OCR regions fared in 2013 (Alice Tan, Associate Director & Head of Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank; Alan Cheong, Senior Director, Savills; Christine Li, Head, Research & Consultancy, OrangeTee) Transaction volumes take a dip Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA)
  15. 15. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 15 TableofContents Share Condo Transaction Volumes - By Area Condo transaction volumes in 2013 did not match the record number of transactions seen in 2012. They declined some 38.6 percent – reflecting weakening buyer sentiments for private properties, in part due to MAS regulations. However, the drop in transactions differs from region to region. The transactions in the Core Central Region (CCR) trended down the most severely, registering an average of a 40 percent decrease quarter-on- quarter. Of particular note for the regions in 2013: n In Q2 2013 the Rest of Central Region (RCR) and Outside Central Region (OCR) regions grew transaction volumes by a healthy 44 percent and 18 percent respectively from the previous quarter – despite the introduction of the ABSD. However the new TDSR and MSR in the second half of the year curtailed these volumes. n In the RCR, property seekers purchased a total of 2,062 units in Q3 and Q4 2013 combined, being half the level of a year prior. While down significantly, these volumes were a better result than those recorded by the CR and OCR. n Despite most buying activity occurring in the OCR, the area saw transactions decline from 4,673 units to 3,105 units between Q2 Transaction volumes take a dip Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Q3 2013 – and further drop to around 1,430 by Q4. This made the volumes in Q4 just 30 percent (approximately) of the level they were six months prior. n The CCR and the OCR regions recorded the largest percentage decline in volume from the peak in 2012 and through 2013. n Despite transaction volume ratios that would indicate that the OCR will experience the worst pricing pressures, many analysts are expecting this effect to be offset largely by significant new demand in this area. a
  16. 16. The FLUCTUATING natureof prices 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  17. 17. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 17 TableofContents Share The declining transaction volumes of the last two quarters of 2013 finally drove down price levels in Q4. Until Q3 2013, prices continued to defy gravity as the gap between prices and their supporting volumes grew larger. From the previous sections, we recognise that this is a text book market response to declining volumes, where prices can remain elevated for two or more quarters before plateauing and then declining. The predictable relationship between volume and price Many factors influence the ‘time lagged’ relationship between volumes and prices. However, one of the strongest is also one of the simplest. It is also the most constant in any property marketplace in the world. It is human behaviour. Humans have an entirely understandable and common tendency to hold on to their properties rather than to accept lower offers. They typically do this for many months as the offers dry up before reluctantly accepting lower offers – and recognising in turn that the market has moved. The fluctuating nature of prices This behaviour helps explain why, during the period of declining transaction volumes, the average time it takes to sell a property also increases. Expanding time on market and declining transaction volumes are forward indicators of coming softness in prices – and usually go hand in hand. Significantly, both were apparent in the Singapore market in the latter half of 2013. During 2013, the Singaporean market behaved very predictably in response to the financing restrictions and corresponding transaction declines. This augers well for predicting trends in 2014. Reading the 2013 data, we can confidently expect to see further downward pressure on prices into 2014 – providing other factors remain stable. Despite the fact that many other micro and macro factors can influence prices, these forces will need to be particularly strong now to offset the well-entrenched price decline process that has been set in play by the declining transaction volumes of late 2013.
  18. 18. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 18 TableofContents Share 2013 Price Outcomes: HDBs VS Condos From the chart below, both property types saw price declines in 2013. However, HDBs led the way ahead of condos. From earlier sections we also recognise that the earlier price declines of HDBs were preceded by earlier transaction volume declines. By Q3, the HDB market had begun to sag under the new cooling measures – aimed specifically at curtailing the availability of mortgage credit to the market and placing other restrictions on purchasers. However, it was not until Q4, led by the mild declines in volumes that were seen in Q1 2013, that the condo market began to correct. These pricing forces were accompanied by the first of the new supply coming online - and some mild reductions in the rates of population growth. Additionally, restrictions governing the purchase of HDB resale properties by Singapore PRs, introduced in August, played a role in reducing effective demand for HDBs – and also contributed to their faster price declines. The largest contributing factors in 2013 were the new purchasing restrictions and the implementation of the MSR, TDSR and ABSD policy changes. These effectively reduced both the eligibility of individuals for new mortgage debt and increased the purchasing costs at the same time. The fluctuating nature of prices Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), Housing Development Board (HDB) Locality-based fluctuations in the Condo market In 2013, the price changes and transaction volume of condos varied between regions. Below, we compare the CCR, the OCR and RCR. The CCR registered a decline of 2.1 percent, while prices in the RCR and OCR increased by 0.3 percent and 6.8 percent respectively.
  19. 19. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 19 TableofContents Share The fluctuating nature of prices Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) Significantly, the CCR registered a price fall across the last three quarters of 2013. This fall also coincided with the introduction of the ABSD in Q1, which saw higher taxes on second and subsequent properties imposed on a majority of potential buyers, including high- net worth individuals and foreigners. The downward trend of luxury properties appeared to be further exacerbated with the TDSR changes introduced in late June. These resulted in a price fall of 2.2 percent by Q4 2013, a rate of decline that was seven times larger than the 0.3 percent decline in the previous quarter. The RCR region also witnessed price declines for the first time since Q1 2012. This was after the TDSR came into effect. However unlike the CCR, the RCR maintained positive market activity throughout 2013. This was spurred by the launch of units that were competitively priced at the level of affordability that buyers were comfortable with. The OCR continued to be the fastest growing market segment, which contributed much to the increase in the overall private property price index. In spite of a decline of 0.9 percent in Q4 2013, the first after almost two years, the rate of price growth for the OCR in 2013 was 20 percent higher than the levels in 2012 - which registered only a 5.4 percent rise. a
  20. 20. why executive condos werehighly soughtafter 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  21. 21. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 21 TableofContents Share Why executive condos were highly sought after Areport compiled by PropertyGuru found that the market value of fully and partially privatised ECs grew strongly in 2013. Examples from the report: n Unit prices at Eastvale in Pasir Ris, the first EC in Singapore, increased from $454 per square foot (psf) in September 1996 to $909 psf by November 2013. This translates to a rise of 100 percent. n Two partially privatised ECs also located in Pasir Ris - The Esparis and Whitewater - showed higher growth of 130 percent and 140 percent respectively. In January 2002, the Esparis had a psf of $370 and reached $859 psf by November 2013. n Similarly, prices at Whitewater, which was completed in 2005, increased to $883 psf in December 2013 from an initial price of $362 psf in December 2002. These very strong 2013 price increases provide clear evidence to suggest why the government has elected to increase the supply of ECs in the market by an average of 330 percent over the next three years, compared to 2013. Demand for ECs contributed strongly to rapid price growth In 2013, the top ECs were concentrated in certain districts, particularly in the developing areas of the west and the central areas of Ang Mo Kio and Bishan. As detailed in the chart below, we can see that, for example, in the case of Bishan Loft and Nuovo, the values of these specific properties are valued at approximately 150 percent of the average psf of private properties within the same district, District 20. This chart indicates that some ECs in 2013 exhibited high psf growth, and now command very high psfs. The scarcity of ECs in certain localities has enabled some to command higher psfs than the average private district psf. However, the age of the property psfs needs to be considered when making a determination. A strong EC supply increased – and the policy changes that remove the EC-favoured status are expected to rectify some of the price inbalance going forward in 2014. a Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), PropertyGuru Analysis
  22. 22. thevITAL ROLE thatinterest ratesplayed 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  23. 23. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 23 TableofContents Share Examination of the 2013 market requires an investigation of the important role that interest rates and the cost of capital have on the property sector. The interest rate – and the outlook for interest rates – represents the effective and expected cost of servicing the mortgage debt. In 2013, the cost of servicing a mortgage remained at near record lows. The Singapore Interbank Offered Rate, or SIBOR, is set by the Association of Banks in Singapore. Mortgage rates are effectively set by the base SIBOR rate plus a bank margin. The majority of mortgage debt in Singapore is variable – and where fixed, it is fixed for a maximum period of five years. This is significant as other countries allow longer periods of fixed term mortgages. The U.S., for example, typically has 30-year fixed loans. Combined with the high personal debt levels carried by property buyers in Singapore, the very high percentage of Singaporeans on variable mortgage rates makes the property market highly susceptible to changes in interest rates As at 2013, the interest rate environment remained very accommodative, being directly influenced by the bond buying (QE) of the U.S. Federal Reserve. Singapore effectively has its ultra-low interest rate environment driven by the U.S. The vital role that interest rates played Though ultra-low rates were a primary driver in the 2013 market, they cannot necessarily be assumed to remain as positive for the market during 2014. The chart below looks in more detail at the most recent rate influences on the market in 2013. Source: Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)
  24. 24. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 24 TableofContents Share The three-month SIBOR rate has fallen from approximately 1.8 percent in Q3/Q4 2008, to the historically low values at present. This most recent behaviour is uncharacteristically stable, given that SIBOR rates have displayed much volatility over the past 25 years. The ultra benign interest rate environment over the last five years has increased the capacity of consumers and investors to borrow large sums cheaply. This has allowed Singapore’s property markets to flourish after the global market correction in 2009 – and for the very strong market to continue into 2013. Access to finance in 2013 In 2013, the access to finance, or the amount that people could borrow, was curtailed by cooling measures. This was a simple and efficient effort by the government to reduce effective property demand. Property sectors that attract the highest proportion of mortgage debt to finance the purchase were hit hardest by the measures. The sector that was especially susceptible to the cooling measures, and showed the biggest correction, was the HDB resale market. a While PropertyGuru does not see an imminent reversion to the historical interest rate mean of around 3 percent, it does see a slow tightening process occurring during the course of 2014. However, owing to the nascent recovery of the U.S. economy, we expect that rates will rise only at a slow pace over the coming years. While this will not provide an additional stimulus to the market – as it did in 2013 - it will also not be a significant drag on the market. In summary, the interest rate environment of 2013 is expected to continue into 2014 with only a gradual rise – and with average mortgage rates finishing the year beneath 2.25 percent. However, the reduced access to finance through cooling measures is expected to continue to be a drag on prices. These government macro- prudential policy measures remain the only effective financial instrument the Singapore government has to alleviate rising property prices. Introduction of the TDSR framework is recognition of this. It was a game-changer in the market in 2013 and unlikely to be relaxed in 2014. The vital role that interest rates played
  25. 25. hOUSING SUPPLY setto increase 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  26. 26. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 26 TableofContents Share In a recent government report, Singapore’s population is said to have risen by 1.6 percent between 2012 and 2013, the slowest growth rate in the past nine years. This brings sev- eral implications for public policy, one of them being the supply of sufficient housing. Looking at the charts below, we can see how the demographic composition of Singapore’s population has changed in the last five years. What it tells us is that, while the overall population has increased to 5.4 million since 2008, some groups – Singapore Citizens, PRs and non-residents – have grown at different rates. Between 2008 and 2013, the Singaporean citizen population climbed by 4.4 percent to more than 3.31 million, much slower as compared to the growth rate in the number of PRs and non-residents, which grew 8 percent and 28.4 percent respectively. In total, this illustrates that, over time, the pool of Singapore Citizens has declined as a proportion of the total population, dropping from initially 68 percent to 61 percent now. On the other hand, PR figures remained stable at 10 percent and non-residents rose slightly to 29 percent by 2013. Non-residents typically rent, so their increasing proportion has driven increased demand for rental properties. This, in turn, has created demand for the investor segment, with yields of between 3 to 3.5 percent. Housing supply set to increase Concurrently, borrowing costs have remained typically around 1.5 percent to 2 percent. This has created a yield spread of around 1.5 percent – being the difference between the two. Therefore an investor could typically borrow at 1.6 percent, acquire a property and then rent it out for up to 3.5 percent – creating an obvious incentive to invest in property. Source: Department of Statistics Singapore
  27. 27. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 27 TableofContents Share This has fuelled increased demand for property in 2013, which was not curtailed until the second half of the year when cooling measures fully impacted the market. Based on the assumption that all population sub-groups continue to follow their growth trajectories closely, we can well expect more than 129,000 more non-residents and PRs to enter the market by 2015. On a side note, what also needs to be stressed is that, although Singapore Citizens will exhibit slower growth when compared to the other two groups, there will still be sufficient demand in absolute terms for places to stay in 2015, especially for HDB Built-to-order units (BTOs). Increased property supply To cope with these population changes, the Singapore government, through the Ministry of National Development, has outlined plans to launch more than 200,000 new properties by 2016, with a mix of HDBs, ECs and private condominiums. What is key here is the composition of that new supply. As illustrated in the graph below, the Singapore government’s focus is centred on redressing the imbalance away from private property and towards providing affordable public housing. Increasing the supply of any property type will, if all other factors are stable, lead to downward pressure on prices. The majority of this new supply will come over the next three years. New supply in 2013 alleviated some upward pricing pressures in the private condo market – a sector which saw supply increase from 9,000 units to more than 15,000 units – over the course of the year. This was a 75 percent increase in supply over the previous year, and so contributed to the decline in prices in the latter half of 2013. While the absolute number of all property types will continue to rise, they are going to increase at different rates – with the biggest supply effects felt in the HDB and EC markets. a Housing supply set to increase Source: Ministry of National Development (MND)
  28. 28. property seekers weighin 2013REVIEW e 2013can otherwise be known as the “Year of New Regulations” for the local property market. New regulations were introduced with the aim to reduce demand and rising prices in key property segments. Here’s a look back at how the newly introduced government measures have affected property seekers and the market overall.
  29. 29. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 29 TableofContents Share Since the property boom in 2012, there have been widespread questions raised about the affordability of housing as fervent buying activity drove prices across all property types. Moving into 2014, lingering concerns surrounding overpriced properties con- tinued to weigh down public sentiments. This can be seen from the Property Affordability Index, the quarterly benchmark for property affordability in Singapore. The chart below takes into account survey measurements for overall satisfaction, future price perceptions and intention to purchase property, as well as per- ceived government effort. We can see that public opinion deteriorated sharply at the height of the property cycle from Q2 2012 to Q1 2013 with the index dipping from 112 to 80. A reading below 100, the baseline index, indicates a less affordable outlook for property. Government intervention was thus inevitable with successive rounds of cooling measures being implemented in an attempt to mitigate the sustained increase in transaction numbers. Singaporeans were, and still are, generally supportive of the government’s actions in influencing real estate demand and supply. This is indicated by the upswing in the index for the first time in nine months, from mid-2013 onwards. By the end of Q4 2013, property seekers were becoming more optimistic about affordability in the property market, with the index hitting a record high of 120 - a stark contrast to a year ago, when sentiments were at their lowest ebb. Property seekers weigh in Source: PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey
  30. 30. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 30 TableofContents Share Certainty over no increases in property prices Further indicative of the public being bullish about the property market is the expectation that prices will not experience a rise in the next six months. Data from the survey suggests that there is a strong inverse correlation between affordability and price increases; perceptions of property affordability will dip as more people anticipate prices to continue to climb and vice versa. Following this logic, we see from the graph below that the drop in perceived affordability of property mentioned earlier – from Q3 2012 to Q1 2013 – corresponds with the increase in respondents foreseeing a prolonged rise in prices during the same period. This is illustrated in a decrease in the percentage of respondents, from 54 percent to 30 percent, who felt that there will be no growth in property prices. A precursor for more measures to temper the active market, ABSD set the stage for a reversal in expectations of price increase trends. More respondents slowly began to feel that little or no further price rise would occur from Q2 2013 onwards. What is most startling is the significant jump of 17 percent between Q3 and Q4 2013. This highlighted stronger public confidence that prices would not continue to increase in the months ahead and into the start of 2014. A casual explanation for this occurrence points towards the strength of the TDSR framework. After coming into effect late-June 2013, it slashed the quantum of private property units sold - particularly in the CCR and RCR. On the HDB resale front, TDSR, together with the contraction of the MSR on HDB loans to 30 percent, also helped to control this market segment by softening and shifting demand from larger to smaller flats. As price estimates for both non-landed private property and HDB resale units began to trend downwards, so too did overall perceptions on price stability. Property seekers weigh in Source: PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey
  31. 31. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 31 TableofContents Share Prudence before purchasing property While the respondents polled painted a rosier outlook for the local property market in 2014 - as compared to 2013 - home buyers are still staying on the sidelines to assess and evaluate how the market is going to fare as we move forward into 2014. Despite prices coming down and property affordability gaining ground, as many as three out of five respondents highlighted that they would not be keen on purchasing a new, or another, residential unit within the next six months. In fact, as seen in the chart below, property purchase intent has been declining over time with only 14 percent showing interest in purchasing property at the end of 2013. Of respondents who indicated that they are willing to buy a new property, half are upgraders who wish to buy non-landed private property. What are the reasons behind more home buyers adopting a more selective approach towards property purchasing? On the one hand, it can be said that TDSR has limited the purchasing power of upgraders to finance further investment in private property, thereby curtailing their demand temporarily. Property seekers weigh in On the other hand, it is the behavioural nature of home buyers – sitting on the fence and studying the market before diving into a costly decision – which may affect them in the long term. a Source: PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Survey
  32. 32. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 32 TableofContents Share 2014... And now to With so much uncertainty in the Singapore property market, many people are asking: u Whether now is the right time to buy, or the right time to sell? u Where is the market heading and what kind of price correction, if any, can be expected? u Are HDB resales a good option or should I be considering ECs? u Overseas property looks very tempting but where should I be looking? PropertyGuru will answer these and other questions, and also reveal places – both local and overseas – that you might want to consider for your next property purchase.
  33. 33. e The decision to raise the release of new BTO units, at an average of more than 32,000 units per year until 2016, have some predicting a looming public housing oversupply. Should this be a cause for concern? MoreHDB BTOs: Toomuchofa goodthing? At a glance: v Based on our projections of slowdown in population growth and lower number of BTO applicants, a potential oversupply issue might occur in 2016. v Analysts believe this may not be the case, as the government will monitor the situation closely while rolling out new supply. 2014FORECAST
  34. 34. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 34 TableofContents Share The Singapore government has been determined to ensure that first-home buyers are able to realise their dream of pro- curing an HDB unit to call their own - at an affordable price. To a large extent, they have succeeded in doing so. In an effort to address the issue, the government has been committed to constructing over 90,000 HDB BTOs till 2016. This injection of new supply is an increase of 50 percent - as compared to the number of units which were released for sale in the last three years. However, in spite of the good intentions behind the announcement, there is a real risk of oversupply in the HDB BTO residential market - as a consequence of the slow population growth of Singapore Citizens. Currently, the Singapore Citizen population increased at its slowest pace in nine years reaching more than 3.3 million in 2013, up 0.65 percent from 3.29 million the year before. If we were to plot the population growth rate against the proposed number of HDB BTOs planned to be built, we will see from the chart below that, by 2016, there is a possibility that the supply of housing will outstrip the total number of Singapore Citizens as a whole. This slowdown in population growth could lead to higher vacancy rates, placing a strain on public resources. Application rates from first-time buyers for new BTO flats taking a tumble - from 2.4 in January 2013 to 1.3 in November - also suggest that demand itself is already slowly being rectified. Does this, coupled with more than 28,000 HDB units planned for completion in 2014 alone, signal that there is a real danger that the HDB market is heading for a supply glut? More HDB BTOs: Too much of a good thing? According to analysts, this scenario is unlikely to occur. Getty Goh, Director of real estate research firm Ascendant Assets said, “Even though 28,000+ flats due to be completed in 2014 may seem like a large number, if we take a long-term view, the demand for housing will be spread out - given the fact that the government is trying to increase the overall population figure to 6.9 million by 2030.” Alan Cheong, Head of Research for Savills, added, “New BTO flats are likely to be almost all taken up in the next few years to cover the backlog of demand. Most of these will go towards newly-formed families; therefore the seemingly large number of BTO flats expected for completion in 2014, and the near future, is not a worrying issue.” Source: Ministry of National Development, Department of Statistics Singapore, PropertyGuru Analysis
  35. 35. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 35 TableofContents Share Citing alternative measures the government can take to alleviate concerns of oversupply, Christine Li, Head of Research and Consultancy for Orange Tee mentioned, “The government can simply accelerate the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (e-SERS) and demolish more flats in the event that there is a risk.” “As public housing is mainly for owner occupation, it comes with a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) to prohibit its sale until the buyer occupies it over a certain number of years. The government can have the option to extend the MOP further if an oversupply is imminent,” she said. Should we be worried? The government will pay close attention to both the demand and supply of public housing, implementing strategies to tackle the delicate act of balancing the two. By virtue of their commitment towards building more BTOs, we have seen that the government has begun taking steps to address the short-term deficit of residential units over the course of the next few years. In the same vein, should these additional units prove to be more than the market needs, the government can always recalculate the total supply to provide, or tweak a variety of HDB measures to stabilise the market. This is already evident from Minister Khaw Boon Wan’s recent mention of cutting back on the construction of larger, three- or more bedroom HDB units by about 18 percent in response to fewer applicants. More HDB BTOs: Too much of a good thing? - Getty Goh, Director of Real Estate Research, Ascendant Assets Unlike private properties, it is always the government’s intent that HDB flats are for accommodation as well as long-term asset accumulation. This means that prices and supply of HDB flats will be appropriately managed to remain steady in the long run.
  36. 36. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 36 TableofContents Share More for singles in the city Together with plans to reduce the supply of BTO units for newly married couples and families, the government looks set to ramp up the number of two-room flats in non-mature estates from previous estimates of 2,600 to 5,000 units in 2014. This will aim to re-distribute the allocation of resources from where demand is comparatively weaker (young families) towards a demographic with a higher number of applications, which will likely remain in the double digits in 2014. Goh said, “This is a political decision made by the government to cater to another demographic of Singaporeans who wish to own a home. In the bigger scheme of things, this policy is not going to have any significant impact on the HDB market, as there are more than 900,000 HDB units in total and 2,500 units make up less than 0.5 percent of the overall HDB stock.” “While singles could consider buying resale HDB units in the past, prices of resale flats have gone up significantly in the last few years; and many singles are presently finding it a challenge to afford something from the resale market. Hence, allowing them to buy directly from HDB is a timely move as it addresses the housing aspirations of this specific group of people,” he quipped. Li added, “The new ruling allowing singles to purchase two-room (BTO) flats provides those who cannot afford a resale flat a chance to purchase a home. While the intention is to look after the needs of those who have been previously side-lined, the government might also want to strike a balance between providing singles with more housing and encouraging Singaporeans to start a family”. a More HDB BTOs: Too much of a good thing?
  37. 37. e Transaction and price falls in 2013 set the stage for a soft landing in the HDB resale market. We investigate why this is the case. HDBResale Market: What goes up must come down At a glance: 2014FORECAST v The government has managed to subdue the HDB resale market, with transactions, Cash over valuations (COVs) and prices of resale flats appearing to continue on a downward trend. v Key factors that contributed to this decline include the restrictions placed on purchase by PRs and their ownership of resale units, as well as the new TDSR and MSR policies.
  38. 38. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 38 TableofContents Share Million-dollar HDB units are now relatively rare, with resale prices taking a tumble following the introduction of cooling measures: particularly the cap of 30 percent for MSR and a 25-year limit for HDB mortgage loans. In addition, the government reiterated its stance on providing affordable housing to all by ramping up the supply of BTO flats. With low or even no COVs becoming a common occurrence now, a soft landing for the HDB resale market appears imminent. Predictions of further declines On the back of HDB estimates indicating resale prices falling 1.3 percent in Q4 2013, the major news story in 2014 is likely to be an even quieter year for the resale market, with prices expected to spiral downwards even further. “Although overall the resale price index dipped by 0.4 percent, the large dip in prices in Q4 sets the stage for prices in this segment to drop by between 5 to 8 percent in 2014,” said Mohamed Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore real estate agency PropNex Realty. Transaction volume figures will follow a similar trend to 2013, which saw one of the lowest in years at around 17,200 to 18,500 resale transactions – compared to more than 24,000 to 37,000 over the last five years. On one hand, this is due to more home buyers adopting a cautious approach in the market. However, it can also be attributed to new regulations stipulating that newly-minted PRs will have to wait three years before they can purchase a resale flat. As a result, purchasing of resale units by PR households fell by half at an average of 176 units per month, in contrast to an average of 323 units per month prior to the introduction of the new ruling. Commenting on the effects of the restrictions, Nicholas Mak, Research Head at SLP International Property Consultants, said, “Based on preliminary figures from HDB, the drop in demand from PRs will continue to affect the resale market by reducing overall demand by about 10 percent during 2014.” However, while activity is expected to be muted in the first half of 2014, both demand and buying activity might pick up in the latter part of the year - a reaction to falling prices as more buyers are enticed by more affordable choices in the market. a HDB resale market: What goes up must come down
  39. 39. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 39 TableofContents Share Places of interest: Areas home buyers should consider In lieu of falling HDB resale prices and COVs, we have pinpointed several areas that may be attractive options for a first time home buyer or upgrader wishing to purchase a four- or five-room resale flat in 2014. On the whole, COVs will continue to fall across all HDB areas in 2014. Punggol currently comes out top in terms of lowest COVs for the more popular four- and five-room units. This is a result of drastic falls in both quarter-on-quarter and yearly prices. TOWN CURRENT MEDIAN COV % CHANGE (compared to last quarter) % CHANGE (compared to start of year) Punggol $10,000 -59.18% -76.74% Sengkang $15,000 -50.00% -61.04% Woodlands / Bukit Panjang $13,000 -48.00% -56.67% (Woodlands) / -48.00% (Pasir Panjang) Top 3 areas with the lowest median COV 4-room flats (as of Q3 2013) Source: Housing Development Board (HDB) TOWN CURRENT MEDIAN COV % CHANGE (compared to last quarter) % CHANGE (compared to start of year) Punggol $8,000 -73.33% -75.38% Sembawang $11,500 -52.08% -65.15% Woodlands $15,000 -44.44% --55.75% Top 3 areas with the lowest median COV 5-room flats (as of Q3 2013) Source: Housing Development Board (HDB) HDB resale market: What goes up must come down
  40. 40. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 40 TableofContents Share In this regard, Punggol will be attractive to price-conscious buyers in 2014. However, in the longer term, it will prove to be even more sought-after with the development of the area into a Waterfront Town for the 21st Century under the Punggol 21 initiative. The Northern areas of Woodlands and Sembawang also offer a similar story. At a median COV of $13,000 for a four-room flat, as well as $15,000 and $11,500 respectively for a five-room flat, Woodlands and Sembawang are good buys - especially for upgraders who are strapped for cash due to TDSR. These areas also show a lot of potential for capital appreciation in the next 10-12 years following the development of the Woodlands Regional Centre. Interestingly, the top three locations with the lowest median prices for resale flats all belong in the northern part of Singapore, ranging from $404,000 to $426,000 for a four-room flat and $473,000 to $515,000 for a five-room flat. One reason for Yishun, Sembawang and Woodlands to be consistently demonstrating lower demand, and hence lower transaction prices, is the longer travel distances to the city. However, if we were to look at the bigger picture, these areas present great opportunities for first-time home buyers and upgraders to consider in 2014. When new amenities, transportation networks and recreational facilities are constructed in the near future, high returns on investment can be expected. a Top 3 areas with the lowest median resale price 4-room flats (as of Q3 2013) TOWN Current Median Resale Price % change (compared to last quarter) % change (compared to start of year) Yishun $404,000 -3.00% -1.70% Woodlands $415,000 -1.78% -1.19% Sembawang $426,000 -3.40% -4.48% Source: Housing Development Board (HDB) Top 3 areas with the lowest median resale price 5-room flats (as of Q3 2013) TOWN Current Median Resale Price % change (compared to last quarter) % change (compared to start of year) Woodlands $473,000 0 -1.46% Sembawang $490,000 -1.71% -2.00% Yishun $515,000 0 -1.34% Source: Housing Development Board (HDB) HDB resale market: What goes up must come down
  41. 41. e The recent EC measures have put a damper on market sentiments that may last well into 2014. Whereare demandand pricesinthe ECMarket headed? At a glance: 2014FORECAST v A 30 percent cap on the MSR will largely influence buying patterns of the upgrader segment, potentially causing demand and transaction volumes to decline. v Taking into account the prospect of lower buyer activity, developers are expected to respond with greater prudence in their pricing strategies.
  42. 42. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 43 TableofContents Share Executive condominiums are a public-private housing hybrid designed to meet the housing needs of the ‘sandwich classes’. This group of home buyers aspire to live in private homes but cannot afford such property due to skyrocketing prices. They are also unable to buy HDB flats due to their above average income. ECs bridge this gap by granting the prospect of luxury living made affordable through financial assistance from government schemes. It is therefore not surprising that ECs have become increasingly popular over the last two years, subsequently causing prices to rise strongly. upgraders feeling the heat With ECs showing much promise in 2013, does it mean that we will see demand further escalating for this type of property in 2014? Some analysts expect this is not likely, given the recent EC cooling measures imposed. According to Thomas Tan, Principal Trainer at Real Centre Network, “As everyone knows, ECs are generally priced lower than private condominiums, hence they are attractive options and a good step forward for upgraders to realise that goal. Where are demand and prices in the EC Marcket headed? “In my view, the EC market might remain an active one in 2014 because of this difference in price; however potential buyers will take stronger note of the MSR of 30 percent - which will severely affect affordability and could prevent them from purchasing their desired units, ” he said. Upgraders – those who wish to sell their pre-existing HDB units for an EC – will be the most severely affected, especially so if they have existing debt payments. This is because, in addition to the TDSR, this buyer segment will need to factor in the 30 percent cap on MSR for mortgage loans, which previously applied only to buyers of resale and BTO flats. What this means for upgraders with lower incomes is that they either have to fork out more cash upfront for their purchase, or simply search for cheaper alternatives in the market, potentially lowering the number of purchases, and therefore transaction volumes for ECs. “The new EC measures will mean that there could potentially be a drastic drop of 50 percent in purchasing power, which will severely dent an upgrader’s aspirations. Upgraders may find that some EC units currently available for sale above $1 million will be beyond their budget, as the loan quantum required from them is much higher,” said Mohamed Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of Singapore real estate agency, PropNex Realty.
  43. 43. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 44 TableofContents Share Developers paying closer attention to the EC market Ismail suggested that developers will remain cautious as they are already reeling from the effects of inflation, a tight labour market and rising construction costs. That, together with increasing competition in the market and the reduced purchasing power of the upgrader segment, means that there could be more aggressive bidding wars for upcoming EC tenders. By the same token, developers with existing land sites for such projects may be severely affected if they submitted high bids. “The aim of the EC cooling measures is to equalise the playing field between public housing and ECs — prompting developers to adjust their land bid prices accordingly by taking into account the potential buyers’ purchasing ability. The likelihood is that developers may build smaller units so that overall quantum remains affordable for buyers. This will result in a compromise between price and size of living space,” Ismail added. “Subsequent EC land bids will be keenly watched to see if the new measures will bring down the number of bids per site and/or affect the quantum of the winning bids – given the strong offers for recent state tenders and the continued healthy take-up rate for ECs.” “Also, 2014 may see more developers, including foreign players, eyeing and possibly entering the EC segment, given that mid- to high-end private properties are now also seeing a slowdown after the impact of successive rounds of cooling measures,” he noted. - Mohamed Ismail, CEO of PropNex Realty With the new Cooling Measures, EC developers must adjust their land bid prices accordingly to take into account the potential buyer’s purchasing ability. WATCH VIDEO: Insights into how the EC market will fare in 2014 (Thomas Tan, Principal Trainer, Real Centre Network) Where are demand and prices in the EC Marcket headed?
  44. 44. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 45 TableofContents Share HDB upgraders should expect the next batch of EC supply to hit the market only in August 2014, at the earliest. No more than five EC launches are slated for release in 2014, to keep in line with the government’s aim of maintaining supply for this unique property segment. Three projects to be launched will be located in the North-Eastern region of Sengkang and Punggol; followed by one each in Woodlands and Jurong West. It will be interesting to see how the two ECs launched in Sengkang and Punggol will fare. District 19 shows much promise because of major developments such as the Punggol 21 initiative. However, much prudence should be exercised when deciding whether investing in an EC in this area will be a wise choice. Given that there are already six ECs slated for construction in Punggol and three in Sengkang, the addition of three more in the area might bring fierce competition for capital gains in the long term. a Which areas should we look at in 2014? WATCH VIDEO: Why do ECs in Punggol continue to be popular options? (Keith Cheong, Head of Research and Analytics, PropertyGuru Group) Where are demand and prices in the EC Marcket headed?
  45. 45. ThepRivate property rollercoaster continues e Buying activity for non-landed private residential properties is expected to be muted in 2014, with cooling measures continuing to scale down the robust growth seen in recent years. We examine why this is the case, and analyse which areas will still attract demand over the coming months. At a glance: 2014FORECAST v All regions will see a decline in demand for private property, with the OCR seeing the majority of sales transactions due to the lower price quantum for properties there. v Buyers are influenced by attractive pricing and location before determining their private property choices. v In 2014, developers will most likely move towards the construction of smaller units to cater to the shrinking purchasing power of home buyers.
  46. 46. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 48 TableofContents Share Buying patterns in 2014 are set to echo those of 2013, with capital values of new luxury homes in the CCR continuing to soften due to the effects of the ABSD, TDSR and MSR inhib- iting transaction volumes. The number of local and overseas high net worth buyers entering the high-end market will still remain low, with some opting to look elsewhere in the region for more affordable op- tions. Based on the news of 23 sites announced on confirmed and reserved lists of the 1H 2014 Government Land Sales programme, 21 are earmarked for future development into private residential units, with the OCR accounting for more than 62 percent, followed by 31 percent allocated to the RCR. Only one site is gazetted as a white site in the CCR. A lukewarm response from property buyers With the majority of the sites allocated for development located in the OCR (mass market), we can anticipate more supply of affordable pri- vate homes to be built in these areas. However, in light of the restric- tions to secure more loans, prospective upgraders and investors will remain selective in their purchases - at least until mid-2014. There will still be domestic demand though, but, as always, pricing is key. Moving forward into 2014, Mohamed Ismail, the Chief Executive Officer of Singapore Real Estate agency PropNex Realty, said, “It was the attractive pricing that set the tone for the sale of recent new launches, and it gives the strongest signal for developers to sensitively price their new launches to attain high take-ups.” The private property roller coaster continues WATCH VIDEO: Industry analysts share their thoughts on the factors that buyers take into consideration before making a property purchase (Alice Tan, Associate Director & Head of Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank; Alan Cheong, Senior Director, Savills; Christine Li, Head, Research & Consultancy, OrangeTee)
  47. 47. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 49 TableofContents Share His sentiments were shared by other analysts such as Alice Tan, Associate Director and Head of Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank, who added, “Price is the biggest consideration for property seekers right now as they are constrained by the amount of loans they can take under the TDSR framework.” “Projects which are value for money and have price points that potential home buyers are comfortable with will likely be a good draw. To be well-received, an ideal price range that developers should price a private residential unit at will have to be between $1 million and $1.3 million, especially if they want to attract the interest of middle- to upper middle-income buyers,” she added. But that’s not all. Location also plays an important role in determining success. Alan Cheong, Senior Director at Savills, said, “There is an observation that buyers traditionally come from, or live within, areas near the vicinity of a new project launch, and I believe that this behaviour will continue well into 2014 and even into 2015.” Tan added, “Home buyers will be searching for projects in locations which have positive attributes, such as being fairly well-connected via public transport, and close to retail amenities or up-and-coming growth areas. They would then weigh these factors with their launch prices before making a decisive choice.” Developers becoming more cautious Savvy developers keen to tap into opportunities will only build what they know they can sell and, ultimately, appropriate pricing strategies in the weeks prior to any launch will drive sales volumes. WATCH VIDEO: Industry analysts give their opinions on trends which we will see happening in the property market in 2014 (Alan Cheong, Senior Director, Savills; Christine Li, Head, Research & Consultancy, OrangeTee; Alice Tan, Associate Director & Head of Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank) The private property roller coaster continues
  48. 48. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 50 TableofContents Share As such, developers will be careful when bidding for the new GLS sites in view of the reduced purchasing power of property seekers. At the same time, in lieu of the projected lacklustre demand in 2014, developers will have to be prudent in their judgement when marketing their new launches to gain public favour. That said, they will have to work harder to maintain the tight balancing act of managing profit margins with costs incurred from constructing sufficient units within a limited land space. One way developers will be aiming to meet these objectives is through the creation of smaller units. Working within the land area available, developers have the opportunity to build more small units that can be competitively priced to potential upgraders. “A definite trend that we will see more often in 2014 is the launch of smaller units, typically compact three-bedroom units priced slightly below $1 million. This will become a norm going forward,” said Christine Li, Head of Research and Consultancy for OrangeTee. “Small units, comprising three bedrooms with an average of 800-1,000 sq ft in size, will still see a steady demand because of price quantum considerations,” she added. WATCH VIDEO: Hear which districts analysts think will shine in 2014 (Christine Li, Head, Research & Consultancy, OrangeTee; Alice Tan, Associate Director & Head of Consultancy and Research, Knight Frank; Alan Cheong, Senior Director, Savills) The private property roller coaster continues
  49. 49. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 51 TableofContents Share District 25: Woodlands, Admiralty Woodlands and Admiralty are expected to attract much interest in the next few years. In line with the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (URA) draft Master Plan, the district will house the creation of the Woodlands Regional Centre, as well as provide an integral transport hub not only within the island, but also between the mainland and Malaysia. z Key upcoming developments n North Coast Innovation Corridor catering for small and medium enterprise (SME) business, linked with Seletar Regional Centres and the Learning Corridor/Creative Clusters at Punggol. n More than 100ha of land around Woodlands MRT dedicated for commercial and residential use. n Better connectivity between Woodlands North MRT station in Singapore and Tanjung Puteri station in Johor Bahru, with the Rapid Transit System (RTS) by 2018/19. Transport to Kuala Lumpur/Penang via the High-Speed Rail (HSR) is expected to cut travel time to Malaysian cities to a mere 90 minutes. n Woodlands MRT station will serve as an interchange connecting the North-South Line with the new Thomson Line. n Completion of the North-South Expressway (NSE) by 2020, slicing travel time to the city centre by 30 percent. Private property hotspots in the OCR: Blazing the trail in 2014 If you are thinking of purchasing a private property in 2014, here are some suggestions in the OCR that you might want to consider – based on their greater capital appreciation potential in the future: The private property roller coaster continues
  50. 50. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 52 TableofContents Share District 19: Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang Punggol is earmarked to become Singapore’s largest housing estate, twice the size of Ang Mo Kio today and estimated to have its population grow to 100,000 households by 2030. Punggol, together with Sengkang, holds prospect for increased buyer activity as these areas continue to develop into a vibrant new town. District 22: Jurong Lake District A major regional centre in the west, Jurong Lake district promises to become even livelier with the decision to transform the area into a hub incorporating a mix of commercial, leisure and residential spaces for work and play. a z Key upcoming developments n Extension of The North-East Line extending into the New Punggol Downtown, represented by seven distinctive districts that are connected by ‘’green fingers’’ linking residents to the waterfront. n Seletar Aerospace Park located nearby provides employment opportunities to residents in the neighbouring regions of Sengkang & Punggol. z Key upcoming developments n Dubbed as Singapore’s biggest lakeside destination for business and pleasure, the district will bring new opportunities for amenities such as office buildings, hospitals, hotels and more. n The creation of Jurong Gateway, or what will otherwise be known as the next commercial hub for doing business - the biggest outside of the Central Business District. n Lakeside area to undergo a facelift to offer a waterfront playground with retail and entertainment amenities close to nature. The private property roller coaster continues
  51. 51. The guruview for2014 At a glance: 2014FORECAST v HDBs are expected to see an 8-11 percent decline in prices and a drop in the number of properties transacted by 15-20 percent. v Private non-landed properties are forecast to drop by a lesser 6-8 percent and will also see reduced transaction volumes. v ECs will experience a large (330 percent) increase in supply, from 2013 levels, in the next three years. Much of this will be in 2015 and 2016; however, 2014 is expected to see alleviated psf price pressure – due also to the removal of the favoured policy status of ECs.
  52. 52. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 54 TableofContents Share The combination of 2013 market and trend data, customer sentiment data, overseas market comparisons, the views and data of our industry partners - and micro and macro market forces, has allowed PropertyGuru to confidently project what the 2014 property market is likely to have in store. HDB: 2014 transaction volume & price forecast The Guru View of HDBs in 2014 is formed on the basis of several assumptions. These are: n That the cooling measures will be maintained throughout 2014. n That the cooling measures target the HDB segment particularly. n That the declining transaction volume trend is likely to trend lower before finding a floor. n That supply of HDB new housing in 2014 will be double that of 2013. n That mortgage rates will rise only marginally by 0.25 percent, but as the market is particularly interest rate-sensitive, this small change will have an effect. n That there will not be any new, strong, sources of indigenous HDB demand; and that the number of Singapore Citizens as a percentage of the total population will continue to slowly decline. Based on these assumptions for 2014, the Guru View is: n An 8-11 percent decline in prices of HDB. n A 15-20 percent decline in transaction volumes, following on from the existing trend that began in Q3 of 2013. The Guru View for 2014 Source: Housing Development Board (HDB), PropertyGuru Analysis
  53. 53. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 55 TableofContents Share PRIVATE: 2014 transaction volume and price forecast The Guru View on private transaction volumes is that they are likely to continue to correct down to approximately 3,000 per quarter in the first half of the year, before recovering moderately at the end the year to approximately 4,000 transactions per quarter. The primary factors that are considered to drive this are: n Cooling measures that are likely to remain in place, limiting the ability to gain finance. n A slight forecasted increase in interest rates (approximately 0.25 percent), driven primarily out of the trend in the U.S. 30-year bond market, which has doubled its yield in the last six months. n A near 20,000 increase in private property supply compared to 2013, equal to a 33 percent increase. n An increasing recognition of alternative markets in the region representing value. This represents an initial decline of some 33 percent on the Q4 volumes of 2013 – but ending the year just 11 percent down on the last quarter of 2014 - with the anticipation of some bargain hunting and buying in Q4. The Guru View for 2014 Source: Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), PropertyGuru Analysis In the private sector pricing trend, the Guru View is that there will be a further deteriora- tion of some 6-8 percent by year end, from Q4 in 2013. This is expected to be driven primarily by: n The continued softness in volume transactions, as above. n The increased choice and availability of new units from a 33 percent supply increase. n A slight worsening in finance availability and the cost of finance with a .25 percent rate increase. n The maintenance of the cooling measures – and expectation that they will remain for 2014. n External macro economic factors likely to shift capital out of Asian markets and Asian investments.
  54. 54. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 56 TableofContents Share interest rates: 2014 forecast As noted earlier, Singaporean rates are largely inherited from overseas – specifically the U.S. Therefore, to estimate the future path of Singapore mortgage rates, one must look to the likely scenario for rates in the U.S. The expected scenario for average mortgage rates in Singapore in 2014 is that they increase marginally by 0.25 percent. This assessment is made on the following factors: n The U.S. 30-year bond yield is trending up – and has doubled in the last six months. n There has recently been an increased and stated commitment by the U.S. Federal Reserve to wind back, or taper, their extraordinary bond purchase programme (QE) within the first six months of 2014 – and that this programme has artificially suppressed some bond yields to date. n Local banks are expected to increase their mortgage margins - as a recent downgrading by an international ratings agency in 2013 high lighted their low margins as a risk factor. a The Guru View for 2014
  55. 55. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 57 TableofContents Share In its Emerging Trends in Real Estate Asia Pacific 2014 report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the Urban Land Institute, Tokyo re-emerged as the number one choice for more than 250 industry professionals working in developer, private equity and real estate firms around the region. Choo Eng Beng, Partner and Real Estate Leader, PwC Singapore said, “The generally positive outlook for many markets throughout the Asia Pacific region is highlighted by the re-emergence of Japan. After a five-year absence from dominating the financial league tables, Japan is rebounding as a favoured market for investment and development. The country is one of the largest beneficiaries of capital flows from other regions within Asia, notes the report. Its increasing popularity is attributed to the government’s massive economic stimulus plan, which Review of 2013Overseas Japan: Followthebigboys Review of 2013Overseas has resulted in a flurry of property purchases in anticipation of rapidly rising prices. In addition to Tokyo being singled out as Top Investment Market for 2014 after the introduction of economic reforms, secondary cities including Osaka, Fukuoka and Sapporo are fast gaining investor appeal as well. Transaction volumes picked up significantly in 2013 with buying expecting to continue in 2014. With the Japanese economy on the fast track for recovery and growth, demand for residential properties among Singapore investors has grown. This is partially driven by Japan’s attractive terms of rental yields and price.
  56. 56. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 58 TableofContents Share Private property units in Singapore of around 1,000 sq ft and smaller garner an estimated 3 – 3.5 percent rental yield. In comparison, popular apartments in Japan have the potential to obtain above 5 percent yield. Singapore home buyers and investors will have more opportunities to view Japanese real estate as the number of Japan-themed property exhibitions in the city-state is set to increase this year. Sophia Leung, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager for ECG said, “The Tokyo market is picking up and many buyers are looking to transact ahead of the planned consumption tax increase. Whilst many Singaporeans purchase Tokyo property for capital gains, there are those who buy to house their children studying in Tokyo.” Leung added that her company plans to hold 30 Japanese property exhibitions in Singapore this year, and is confident that the stability of the country together with the forthcoming 2020 Olympics will play a big part in influencing buying decisions. a Japan: Follow the big boys
  57. 57. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 59 TableofContents Share The turbulent street protests in Bangkok that were flashed around the world on the front pages of newspapers will do little to boost confidence in the kingdom’s property markets – at least from an overseas buying perspective. In December, Thailand was named one of the top ten most- searched countries by one of Europe’s top property portals. While the protests have been largely good natured and free from significant violence, anyone looking at investing in the country will certainly be having second thoughts. Many unseasoned Thailand observers may assume that periods of political instability will see a drop in the value of property. Certainly there’s no evidence that will happen as, surprisingly, prices actually continued to rise significantly during the street violence of 2008 and 2010. Review of 2013Overseas Why Thailanddeservesasecondlook Source: Bank of Thailand
  58. 58. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 60 TableofContents Share For many, it’s also been business as usual, contrary to what many in the media would have you believe. Suphin Mechuchep, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle (Thailand), said, “In terms of our business operations, JLL hasn’t seen much impact from the situation. Our head office on Sathorn Road remains open as normal.” “Our residential selling and buying enquiries have remained normal. The only thing we have seen is that most project owners are postponing their high-cost marketing campaigns until the situation has been resolved.” The reason why property prices in Thailand will not be impacted by any short- or even medium-term period of political instability is that Thais – who make up at least 90 percent of property buyers in Thailand – will continue to buy. The foreign-buying market will suffer – it did in the past and it will again – but it’s just a small, although, until recently, growing part of Thailand’s property sector. Many developers, especially those listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, have already announced a reduction in new projects for the forthcoming year, so any decline in buyers may well already be factored into the equation. For those who understand Thailand, they will know that this is the way that Thais do things. Many will not be put off investing in property in Thailand – even given the uncertain short-term future. Ultimately, the kingdom offers great value for property investors and is a genuinely nice place to live. With prices generally 20 percent of those in Singapore on a like-for-like basis, the kingdom is still worthy of close attention from overseas property buyers and investors. a Why Thailand deserves a second look
  59. 59. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 61 TableofContents Share The United Kingdom has been a perennial favourite with Singaporeans, so much so that in 2012 they were joint leading overseas buyers of off-plan projects in central London. Whilst the latest data has yet to be published, there’s no doubt that there has been little decline in Singaporeans’ love of London. What we’re likely to see in 2014, and to a certain extent it’s already started, is a move away from zones one and two. Why? Quite simply, the answer is price. London has become extremely expensive and investors who have their minds set on buying in the United Kingdom are being forced to buy further away from the centre of the capital. Even other parts of the country have been attracting interest from Singaporeans for the first time in 2013, and that trend will continue this year. One spanner in the works for pure investors will be the April 2015 planned implementation of a foreign capital gains tax for the first time. British buyers have been paying up to 28 percent, and the U.K. Review of 2013Overseas UK: LookoutsideLondon government has announced it will close the loophole whereby property gains by non-UK owners remained untaxed. It’s still too early to tell the impact this will have on UK property purchases by overseas buyers, but many market watchers expect minimal change in transaction numbers. a - Doris Tan, Head of Overseas Residential Sales, JLL Singapore I think 2014 will be an interesting year as Singaporeans will continue to look abroad for investments, and London will be their top choice now as a new tax law will deter investors from buying - when it’s implemented in 2015. Therefore, I think 2014 will be a good year to invest in London. And those who purchased a number of London properties may want to consider selling before 2015.
  60. 60. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 62 TableofContents Share Malaysia’s property sector was one of the best performing sectors in 2013, and looks set to be closely watched this year. In a bid to curb the robust growth and increasing prices in Malaysia’s property market, The Malaysia 2014 Budget, announced in October 2013 by the country’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, saw significant changes made to property purchases, especially among overseas buyers. Of these policies, two stand out for those seeking to invest in the country. One is the raising of the minimum price of property that can be purchased by overseas buyers to RM1 million from the previous RM500,000. The other is pegging of the Real Property Gains Tax (RPGT) for non-Citizens at 30 percent on the gains from properties sold within five years, and five percent for subsequent years thereafter. At the same time, property developers will be prohibited from implementing projects that have features of the Developer Interest Bearing Scheme (DIBS), to prevent them from incorporating interest rates on loans into house prices during the construction period. This will prohibit financial institutions from providing final funding for projects involved in the DIBS scheme. Measures bring uncertainties for foreign investors These policies are expected to slow Malaysia’s property market, with a decline in the level of home sales in the short term. Given that Singaporeans came top of the list of overseas buyers in Malaysia, prior to the introduction of the cooling measures, the bulk of this drop in transactions can be attributed to reactions by Singaporean investors to the measures, come January 2014. Review of 2013Overseas Malaysia in 2014: Stillaproperty hotspotorfadingstar?
  61. 61. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 63 TableofContents Share “Demand and interest will wane in the next six months or so as Singaporeans are adopting a wait-and-see approach on how the new measures will affect them,” said Khalil Adis, Founder and Property Journalist of Khalil Adis Consultancy. “This will cause buyers to stay away from the market until the Malaysian government releases further details on how these measures will be implemented.” This could spell trouble for properties in popular regions such as Iskandar, where some analysts have already noted a slowing down of demand in the past few months. With waning interest anticipated, a price correction is likely to occur within the next six months after the new RPGT rate was implemented on 1 January. As Khalil mentioned: “Iskandar (in Johor) will be the most affected. We are already seeing a significant drop in interest for new launches - unlike a year ago when buyers were flocking to snap up units in the region.” “However, we are going to see property launches in Medini zone continuing to be popular in 2014 because it is the only place in Malaysia where foreigners can enjoy a tax break and buy below RM1 million without paying the RPGT.” Other regions show prospect On the brighter side, despite the buying outlook for residential property in Johor expected to be subdued in 2014, prospects in other regions in Malaysia look set to flourish. For example, Kuala Lumpur will see a lot more commercial projects being offered due to the Malaysian government’s efforts in ramping up supply for more office and retail spaces. In addition, according to MP Data, a Malaysian real estate business intelligence company, the Klang Valley - with its prime locations, such as Mont Kiara, Bangsar and Damansara Heights, will continue to remain popular, as many foreign investors tend to value the capital appreciation of the high-end residential properties located in these areas. Penang will be another location worth paying attention to because of the strong interest from foreign investors that the state continues to attract - particularly for high-end projects in good locations. This is due to potential buyers being accustomed to Penang’s own RM1 million minimum purchase price for condos enacted two years ago. “Malaysia will still be an attractive location for property investment in 2014, but investors must take a long-term investment horizon. This is because Malaysian properties remain relatively affordable compared to properties in Singapore, driven by the weakening RM against the Singapore dollar.” “Also, Malaysia continues to be one of the few countries that allows foreigners to own freehold properties, an incentive for Singaporeans who wish to procure more affordable residences outside of the city- state,” Khalil concluded. a Malaysia in 2014: Still a property hotspot or fading star?
  62. 62. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 64 TableofContents Share With 2014 being the year of the Horse, we ask Master Lynn Yap, Singapore’s Feng Shui Queen, to give a glimpse into how we should place our bets in 2014. Galloping Ahead intotheNewYear Review of 2013Lifestyle What will the Year of the Horse bring for property investments? From the feng shui point of view, the Horse year will focus on three main areas, such as emotion, infectious illnesses and property matters. It is known as a “Jia Wu” year meaning that the first half of the lunar year has “yang wood” while the later half has “yin fire”. This will be “very challenging” for property, as it is predominantly a strong fire year with no “water” element . “Water” elements are very important when it comes to auspicious property investments. Since the earth will be very dry, property, which is an “earth” element, will see prices start to fall sharply in the first half of the year.
  63. 63. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 65 TableofContents Share Although it is a Horse year and the Horse typically signifies galloping, it will be a year where property prices will gallop downwards. Those in the property business like property agents and bankers will be busy trying to sustain and deliver on forecast projections. It is important, though, that we remember not to whip the Horse but to gallop along with it. There can be many reasons for this sharp fall, mainly due to stricter cooling measures, higher interest rates and stricter loan requirements - as well as the 2014 feng shui charts. Already, in the last quarter of the Snake year in 2013, we began to see property prices falling. And once the Horse year officially arrives in Li Chun on 4 February 2014, we may experience a sharper fall in property prices. In the second half of the year, the “yin fire” is strong. This can cause property prices to rise a fair bit and then remain stable towards the end of the year. This is because the “yin fire” supports the “earth” element, which represents property. Therefore property prices would start to rise, but not at the same rate that overall property prices will fall in the first half of 2014. Lifestyle: Galloping ahead into the New Year If there is the presence of SARS or related illnesses, other infectious diseases, or a big fall in the American stock market in the Horse year, property prices could continue to fall sharply in the second half of the year. Who will be most affected negatively/positively in a financial sense? Not a favourable year for property sellers and renters. Those planning to sell property in the lunar year 2014 will have to be prepared to make less profit from the sale, as compared to years prior when the property market was on the upswing. Those planning to sell property in 2014 have to be prepared to reap less profits from the sale, as compared to previous years when the property market was on the upswing. - Master Lynn Yap, Feng Shui Queen
  64. 64. PropertyGuru Market Outlook 2014 66 TableofContents Share If one waits too long into the year to sell, there is a risk of losing even more. The advice is to not be too stubborn when it comes to selling a property. Simply make enough and move on. There will always be an opportunity to ride the property cycle, but only from 2019, the Year of the Pig, onwards. Gains in capital appreciation will be substantial gains due to steep rises in property prices, just like in 2007. The year, 2014, will also not favour the rental market as rental prices will start to fall quite significantly as well. However, do hold on to your property even if rental income cannot cover the mortgage. The year 2014 will favour buyers. This is because falling property prices may be enticing for property buyers, however like any investment, buyers needs to weigh the pros and cons before making their decisions. Are there tips on how to grow wealth in 2014? Hold on to your cash! This is because money is tangible in value and will not be adversely subjected to large fluctuations in the market. a Master Lynn Yap, also known as Singapore’s Feng Shui Queen (registered mark, 2000), is a veteran practitioner of the art and science of metaphysics. She holds a degree in Business Administration from National University of Singapore and is no stranger to offering advice and consultations to different strata of society. Over the years, her personal well-being has improved tremendously. So too, have the lives of the many people from all walks of life who have consulted her vast knowledge and expertise in this field. Every year, Master Lynn is invited by many business practitioners and organisations to give feng shui talks as well as deliver her predictions for the year. Currently, she writes for, a property portal on a fortnightly basis, on top of her consultation work on She also writes a very successful blog, “The Fengshui Savvy Investor” at About Master Lynn Lifestyle: Galloping ahead into the New Year
  65. 65. About Us PropertyGuru is Asia’s leading online property portal group, used by almost 11 million property buyers, viewing over 89 million property pages and generating over 350,000 enquiries for real estate developer and agent advertisers – every month. Headquartered in Singapore, PropertyGuru was founded in 2006 by two entrepreneurs with a vision to simplify the property search process and help buyers, sellers and investors make better property decisions faster. Taking advantage of Asia’s growing affluence, property demand and online explosion, the company received its first VC investment funding in 2008 and secured approximately $60m investment in 2012 from Deutsche Telekom, South East Asia’s largest digital investment to date. The award winning company focuses heavily on innovation. Over the last two years, the Company has developed and launched 16 mobile applications in four countries and three languages. These applications have received over a million downloads. Almost 50 percent of PropertyGuru’s visits in Singapore now originate from a mobile device. PropertyGuru was also the first to integrate its website with social media, first to launch Singapore’s only dedicated property newspaper - with over 100,000 copies circulated island-wide every month. The company has also developed a property events platform, with approximately 30 shows held annually across four countries, addressing 30,000 potential property buyers on the ground. 68
  66. 66. Disclaimer This report and other research materials may be found on our website at www. Questions related to information herein should be directed to PropertyGuru at the number indicated below. This document has been prepared by PropertyGuru for general information only. PropertyGuru makes no guarantees, representations or warranties of any kind, expressed or implied, regarding the information including, but not limited to, warranties of content, accuracy and reliability. Whilst facts have been rigorously checked, PropertyGuru does not take responsibility for any damage or loss suffered as a result of any inadvertent inaccuracy within this report. This report should not be relied upon as a basis for entering into transactions without seeking specific, qualified, professional advice. Any interested party should undertake their own inquiries as to the accuracy of the information. PropertyGuru excludes unequivocally all inferred or implied terms, conditions and warranties arising out of this document and excludes all liability for loss and damages arising there from. This publication is the copyrighted property of PropertyGuru Pte. Ltd. © 2014. All rights reserved. Information contained herein should not, in whole or part, be published, reproduced or referred to without prior approval. Any such reproduction should be credited to PropertyGuru. 69
  67. 67. Credits Steve Melhuish Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Batt International Group Editor Adam Rahman Senior Marketing Executive Romesh Navaratnarajah Senior Editor Carl Hampel Head of Data Business Keith Cheong Head, Research and Analytics Sue Ellen Manalo Creative Designer Oscar Vidal Data Engineer Niko Nyrhila Software Engineer PropertyGuru Pte. Ltd. 51 Goldhill Plaza, #11-03/05 Singapore 308900 Tel: (65) 6238-5971 Fax: (65) 6534-9544 70