Singapore's residential property market largely has been untouched by the meltdown affecting regional stock markets, according to Christopher Brown, chairman of Jones Lang Wootton (JLW) Singapore. Mr Brown, who was in Hong Kong recently to talk to regional investors, said he expected residential prices in Singapore to fall by 10 per cent this year and probably another few per cent next year because of oversupply in the market. According to Mr Brown, the market's sluggishness has nothing to do with the regional currency crisis. Rather, the decline has to do with the government's attempts to curb speculation in the market. 'What we have is a lot of demand but developers are unwilling to bring prices down and purchasers are waiting for them to come down,' he said. 'So the market is in a hiatus at the moment.' Mr Brown said this situation could continue for another 18 months. Developers already are dropping their prices and he said he expected them to drop 10 per cent by the end of the year. Sales activity continues, but at a slower pace, he said. 'Developers were spoilt in the past,' said Mr Brown. 'A new development used to sell out in the first couple of months. Now they will sell 40 to 50 per cent in the same time.' According to Mr Brown, the government may relax some of the measures which it introduced a couple of years ago to curb speculation. These included a capital gains tax on the sale of new properties and the raising to 20 per cent of the deposit required for a downpayment. Mr Brown said the downpayment demanded may be reduced to 10 per cent. Meanwhile, he said that overall residential vacancy rates remained about the 10 per cent level.