SINGAPORE LUXURY HOUSING/BLOOMBERG
Singapore will spend more than SGD 1 billion ($728 million) to upgrade public and private housing estates over the next few years, reported Bloomberg.
Lawrence Wong, the Minister for National Development said that the projects will cushion industry partners in the current economic climate.
One component of the plan will be the expansion of the Home Improvement Programme, to help renovate some 55,000 flats already 30 years old or more as a start by fixing the concrete and upgrading doors and bathrooms, says Wong.
Property announcements have been coming thick and fast in Singapore. In September 2019, measures were introduced to make public housing more affordable, while in August 2019, authorities revised the charges home builders must pay to enhance the use of certain property sites or build bigger projects on them.
The measures were followed the tabling of an urban draft plan in March 2019 that included a range of proposals including increasing the number of residential developments and hotels by encouraging firms to convert office space, adding more green spaces like parks and park connectors, as well as creating more “one-stop hubs” to make it easier for families to shop, dine and live in one area.
Although the city-state has a glut of apartments and even more in the pipeline, residential prices are on the rise again after cooling measures were introduced in July 2018. Those included raising stamp duties for second homes and foreign buyers, as well as tightening loan-to-value limits for advances granted by financial institutions.
The luxury end of the market is especially strong, with Urban Redevelopment Authority data showing the cost of high-end apartments rose 2.9 per cent in prime and central regions in the three months ended 30 September 2019, versus a 2.3 per cent increase the previous quarter.