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SG Analyst: 9,000 troubled units could be on market

Property Here - Wednesday, July 24, 2013

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Up to 9,000 Singapore private property owners could be forced to sell their homes if interest rates rise in the city-state, according to an analyst report published today.

On the back of news that up to 10 percent of Singapore households may have already over-leveraged their private property purchases beyond the new 60 percent limit that was recently imposed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), wealth management firm Religare Enterprises has cautioned its clients to avoid investing in Singapore property developers.

In its ASEAN Property Pulse report released today, the research arm of the India-based firm explained that between 10 -15 percent of borrowers could be in financial trouble should interest rates rise in Singapore. 

MAS has reported that between five to 10 percent of Singapore households could have over-extended themselves, fuelled by low interest rates and stretched loan tenures.  The majority of mortgage loans in Singapore are floating rate packages, according to the company, which means households will face higher monthly repayments when interest rates normalise. 

Religare has predicted that a rise in interest rates could see more than 9,000 financially troubled properties being listed on the market – assuming a figure of 10 percent of the 90,000 private homes that are scheduled to be completed between now and 2016.

The authors of the report said: “Another worrying statistic is that only 70 percent of the loans are for owner-occupied homes, meaning investor demand in private homes is running quite high.”

Housing Development Board (HDB) properties and executive condominiums (ECs) have to be purchased for self-occupation, the company noted, so all property investment demand is in the private property sector.

“A little wobble in prices combined with higher interest rates might shake up a few property investors as well and add to the possible troubled units on the market,” the report said.

The company has advised its clients to be cautious on the Singapore residential property market and against investing in Singapore property developer shares.

“We expect prices and rents to correct over 2014-15 on the back of completion of more than 90,000 units between 2H 2013 and 2016,” it predicted.

Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email