New private housing units to double: Minister
The number of private residential units available for sale is expected to double or more in the next one to two years, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said on yesterday at a dinner gathering of developers.
A large portion of the supply will come from the redevelopment of projects sold en bloc, on top of that coming from the ongoing Government Land Sales programme.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
With more than enough supply to meet housing demand, Mr Wong urged buyers to do their homework before making a purchase.
To drive home his point, he noted that the vacancy rate for private residential units has been above 8 per cent for almost two years.
The last time vacancies were at such elevated levels was more than 10 years ago, in 2005.
"What this means is that, in terms of actual physical units, there are currently more than 30,000 vacant private housing units - all still looking for occupants," he said.
"This is more than the total number of dwelling units in the whole of Bishan today."
Mr Wong was speaking at the 58th anniversary dinner of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore, where he again sounded a word of caution to developers on the risk of over-aggressive land bids.
He also reminded them of the need to deliver properties of good workmanship and hinted at possible actions against those who compromise on quality.
Mr Wong said that with land prices being high and a requirement for developers to complete the sale of a project within five years of the site being awarded or incur additional stamp duties, profit margins could come under pressure, and developers might be tempted to compromise on construction quality.
While the vast majority of developers are too responsible to do this, the Government has received feedback from time to time on some who do not meet expected quality standards.
He added that he had asked the Urban Redevelopment Authority and Building & Construction Authority to step up their checks.
Regarding developers' bidding behaviour, Mr Wong had said last week in Parliament that higher land bids may not translate to higher selling prices when a project is launched as these are ultimately subject to market demand and supply forces.