Singapore says it's 'too early' to relax its property market cooling measures

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 5:24am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 26 February, 2014, 5:24am


Singapore said last week that measures it had implemented to cool the property market had succeeded but that it was "too early" to relax them.

The remarks by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam in parliament came amid concern about prices soaring to unsustainable levels in emerging markets, including in Asia.

"Our cooling measures have been aimed at moderating the market so as to prevent property prices from getting too far out of line with incomes," Shanmugaratnam said as he unveiled the 2014 national budget.

"We are not engineering a hard landing, but neither are we able to eliminate cycles in the property market, with upswing in prices in some years followed by corrections," he said. "Given the run-up in prices in the last four years, it is too early to start relaxing our measures. The government will continue to monitor the property market and adjust the measures when necessary."

Singapore last year imposed additional measures in a bid to rein in the property market, including raising stamp duties, which made it costlier for foreigners to buy property. The government also increased minimum down payments for individuals applying for loans for second or subsequent homes.

Those were in addition to earlier measures to tame the property market, including a move by the central bank in 2012 to impose a maximum tenure of 35 years for new housing loans.