THE Government is watching the property market ‘carefully’ and taking steps to ensure it does not overheat.
It will inject more prime office space into the market over the next two to three years, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.
And for those worried they have ‘missed the boat’ in the current residential property boom, he had this message: Don’t worry, there is enough land for affordable housing for all Singaporeans.
Speaking at the NTUC National Delegates Conference, Mr Lee highlighted two property segments ‘of concern’: prime office space and residential property.
Office rents have soared with strong economic growth, he noted. The financial and business services sectors are expanding, while many new businesses are moving in from the region and the West.
‘They’re wanting to grow their business in Singapore and we’re unable to meet it,’ said Mr Lee.
To ease the squeeze, the Government will increase supply. ‘We hope we’ll be able to inject more office space into the market over the next two or three years, not just to stabilise the office space market but provide the capacity so lots more businesses can come set up in Singapore and grow our economy.’
In the home market, Mr Lee noted the scrapping of the Deferred Payment Scheme for buyers of upcoming private homes.
No longer can they just fork out 10 or 20 per cent of the price and defer payment of the rest till the project is done. Now, they have to make periodic payments as construction progresses.
Mr Lee said the move will ‘help to dampen excessive speculation and inject some reality into the market’.
He reiterated that the Government ‘is committed to keeping housing affordable for all Singaporeans.’
The HDB is building more flats. The Government will offer more land for executive condominiums to help middle-income families who do not qualify for HDB flats.
‘We’re convinced we will be able to provide good housing for all Singaporeans over the medium to long term. There is enough land in Singapore. There is no need for anybody to get alarmed that this is the last chance and, if you don’t get on, you’ll miss the boat,’ said Mr Lee.
Looking ahead, the Government will continue to ‘make sure the property market stays in balance over the long term’, he added.
Source : Straits Times - 30 Oct 2007