Singapore

Government will ensure property market remains stable: Heng

DPM says property developers have to innovate while enabling young Singaporeans to own homes

Asset prices in the world have been going up despite the Covid-19 pandemic, with Singapore's property market seeing renewed positive sentiments and some gathering of momentum.

The Government is therefore paying close attention to these developments to ensure that the market remains stable, said Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

"We will remain vigilant as the economic outlook remains very uncertain," he added. "We do not want to see the property market run ahead of the underlying economic fundamentals."

Mr Heng was speaking at the anniversary celebration of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas), held at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

In his speech, streamed online, he called on developers to innovate while keeping sight of the ultimate goal - to improve Singaporeans' lives.

This means continuing to enable young Singaporeans to own their own homes and fulfil their aspirations, he said.

It also means making sure the built environment caters to the country's ageing population - for example, by designing amenities for seniors and making sure developments are accessible.

"We will also need new housing typologies, such as assisted living - which integrates senior-friendly homes with care services," Mr Heng said.

PRUDENT

His words on the property market echoed remarks made by National Development Minister Desmond Lee at a seminar yesterday.

He had urged developers to remain prudent in their land bidding and households to exercise caution when purchasing property, given the uncertain economic outlook.

Calling on developers to build a sustainable, caring and liveable city, Mr Heng urged them to "step up the pace of transformation" and take other industry players along.

"We will need to refresh our industry transformation maps and explore how we can work and collaborate differently to innovate better," he said.

For instance, Redas is leading a trial with a digital dashboard that allows developers to monitor building projects based on live data, Mr Heng said. If successful, this dashboard project will be extended to all developers.

Other issues require sustained investment and effort over many years to yield an impact, he added.

Redas president Chia Ngiang Hong, who also spoke at the event, called last year a "time of awakening" for the industry.

"Some businesses will have to think anew about how best to crisis-proof their operations and strategise sustainable business practices that can prepare them for the new normal and take them to a better future," he added.

Property