Singapore Govt Monitoring Home Buying Activity of Foreigners

October 21st, 2011 at 10:31 pm

The government is closely monitoring foreign acquisition of private homes and will take further measures if needed, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

“We are monitoring market conditions closely and, if need be, we will take further measures. For landed property, we have long- standing rules restricting foreign purchases which we recently tightened,” he said yesterday in parliament.

“However, we have to be very careful not to precipitate a loss of confidence, especially with the international backdrop of continuing uncertainty in financial markets and weak growth in the US and Europe.”

The Minister noted that Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) accounted for over four-fifths of private home acquisitions this year.

“Foreign demand has nevertheless been growing. Last year, foreigners accounted for 12 percent of private housing purchases. This has grown to 16 percent in the first half of this year.”

In response to MP Christopher de Souza’s query as to whether measures will be imposed to curb speculation from foreign private property buyers to make prices more affordable for Singaporeans, Mr Khaw said, “Singaporeans are understandably anxious when they see property prices rising, especially those who are first- time buyers of private property. The rising property prices cannot be attributed solely to foreign purchases. There are many factors at play, such as low interest rates and our strong economic fundamentals.”