Singapore’s Richest Property Family Warns of Cooling Measures

The Singapore government may step in to introduce property curbs if home prices keep rising, according to the city-state’s richest property family, marking the first time a developer has waded in on the issue.

City Developments Ltd. Chairman Kwek Leng Beng “noted that the residential market has been performing well though he cautioned that if property prices continue to rise, there may be a time that further cooling measures could be introduced to control the prices,” records from the company’s annual shareholder meeting show. The gathering was held on April 30, with the notes filed at the Singapore Exchange on Monday.

Singapore’s property market has rebounded sharply in recent months, making the sector a bright spot as the economy recovers from the pandemic. Prices of properties ranging from public apartments to private units and luxury bungalows have been rising, with some hitting records.

That has prompted growing speculation that authorities may take steps to calm the market and prevent it from running ahead of the economy. But a recent Covid-19 outbreak may test the market’s resilience as the city-state returns to lockdown-like conditions last imposed a year ago.

At the shareholder meeting, Chief Executive Officer Sherman Kwek expressed optimism about the prospects of CDL’s residential projects and office properties in Singapore.

The number of home units sold in the city-state has recovered to a healthy level despite the pandemic, said Kwek, who is the chairman’s son. Transaction volume last year equaled that of 2019, with close to 10,000 units sold for the entire market. And there’s still pent-up demand, especially among buyers who are upgrading from public to private apartments, he said.

“While there is uncertainty surrounding whether the government would implement new cooling measures, the overall residential market remains very stable,” the notes said, citing the CEO’s comments.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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