Singapore’s soaring land prices ‘suicidal’ for developers

This is the title of a Bloomberg report on 20 Feb 14. ‘Billionaire developer Kwek Leng Beng said last year that skyrocketing prices and restrictive rules make buying residential land in Singapore ‘suicidal’. That hasn’t stopped international developers from rushing in.’

Now we know what is the major factor that is causing unusually high property prices. But it is ok, no problem, international developers are still rushing in to buy. This means that there are still a lot of profits to be made.

While the developers have a billionaire to speak for them on high land prices, is there anyone speaking for the home buyers when the home prices are skyrocketing to the stratosphere? Anyone bothers and care? Or is that a good thing, higher and higher property prices for the buyers, and they can sit on their profits after every purchase?

What we know is that property prices have shot up 2 or 3 times, (not 2 or 3% or 20 or 30%) over the last ten years. Why no one cries wolf? And now that the prices are holding steady or slipping by 1% only in a certain sector while the rest are still going up, and developers are crying foul, that prices are not going up fast enough?

What do you think? Are high property prices suicidal for the genuine home buyers?


Anonymous said...

when the value of your 99-yr properties/HDB flats will be ZERO at the end of their leases......

the day WILL come ...........

oldhorse42 said...

Well this is the guy who decried the cooling measures the Government was forced to put in to pacify the angry public over the high property prices.
He appeared to have been hurt by the cooling measures directed at foreigners buying up local property in this tiny island we call home.
He wanted the policy to be tweaked to encourage more foreign buying of local properties.
Now the same person is saying the soaring land prices are suicidal for developers!
Now what about the high home price? Would it make the people suicidal, too?

Virgo 49 said...

If not every year, we got budget surplus of 6 to 7 billions.

enough for Ng Eng Hen to buy his expensive toys.

At this age, still playing with fighter jets and Masters of the Universe.

Please ask him to go to Toy's r Us

Anonymous said...

Are high property prices suicidal for the genuine home buyers?

The more pertinent question should be:

Are high property prices suicidal for the majority votes for PAP in the next GE?

If not, life for Sinkies goes on as usual, and under PAP of course.

Anonymous said...

Owners of 99-year leasehold properties/HDB flats will be happy for some time to come.

BUT what will happen when these properties/HDB flats come closer to the end of their leases.

What say u?

Anonymous said...

HDB only started in 1960 lah.

So the oldest HDB flats are only 54 years old.

Still got 40 years to go what?

How many Sinkies now will still be alive in 40 years time, you tell me lah?

So why worry about property prices or your wealth after you are dead? You cannot take them to Heaven even if you are Bill Gates, tio bo?

Anonymous said...


Should be 45 years, not 40 years.

Aiya old liao, cannot count properly lah.

Anonymous said...

You cannot take them to Heaven even if you are Bill Gates, tio bo?
Anon 11:05 am

Ya lor. Whether Bill Gates, LKY, Kwek Leng Beng or ordinary Sinkie, all will be equal in Heaven.

Ⓜatilah $ingapura⚠️ said...

I love high property prices. Those people who cannot afford to buy, have to RENT in order to have a place to live.

When many people want/ need to rent, eventually the market prices for rentals increase. For landlords, it is boomtime Charlie.

Every Gangster Central Banker in the world is printing money, and dropping interest rates to 1-2+ %. With such low rates, money is "cheap" and therefore (rich) people will borrow and buy property, thus increasing upward price pressure, which takes out those who are "not so rich" and have to go to the rental market in order to get a place to stay.

I think it is a wonderful time to be a landlord. When you own your properties outright, you don't really worry about "market price". All you care about is charging rent at the highest rate the market will bear ;-)

Anonymous said...

So what if one lives in big and expensive apartment with many rooms. U can sleep in only one room at one time . At the end of the day the assets will hv to pass on to your children. If one only has a daughter the wealth will eventually be transfer to her spouse. If the child is a son the assets will eventually be transfer to his spouse.

Veritas said...

Once property price goes up, there is no way we can move it down, without causing a great deal of damage to status quo.

The status quo will fight till death preventing property deflation.

Base on Case-Shiller property index, a drop of 30% property in USA triggered a financial crisis threatening to bring down all USA big banks including Goldman Sachs in 2008.

So what if property drop 30% in SG?

The reason behind the danger of property crash is because banks are highly leverage due to
1) fractional reserve banking
2) asset rehypothecation
3) securitization of debt

The status quo need to kick the bottle down the hill by QE (PAP engage in QE as well, else SGD will rise more rapidly vs USD) and other policy measure such as population ponzi...etc

No way of going infinitely this way. The point of no return will be reached when even the status quo want to pile debt on us or increase property, all good collaterals are gone.

Anonymous said...

Temporary cooling measures are just for temporary stop gap purposes. They are not permanent solutions.
Adhoc cooling measures allow manipulators to appear benign or even efficient. However, as the Measures are temporary or adhoc, they are NOT LASTING MEASURES.
So, treat temporary measures like analgesic/antipyretic, a temporary relief that does not cure the problem.
Some manipulators may resort to temporary cooling measures to cool the tempers of those affected by their implementations which caused the Problem.

Anonymous said...

You know what the communists did to the landlords when properties were beyond their reach? heheheheh. Arrrrrggggghh....

Anonymous said...

By the Logic, those multi billionaires could only enjoy life according to his/her time and health. And since time and health are very limited, there is no need to have too much money and material possessions. But alas, greed is boundless.
There are some living in 10 Room Mansions and owning dozens of branded items. Are they taking them along when making their journey to heaven?

Anonymous said...

If prices continue to go down, it will be suicidal for developers, buyers, owners, banks and the PAP and eventually Singapore.
So prices must always go up; buyers will have no problem getting bank loans when prices are going up. Anytime that the buyer loses his job and cannot make the monthly payment, he can just sell his property, pocket the profit and retire happily. Everybody happy and PAP continue ruling with the co-driver sleeping.
What can be better than living in heaven here on earth even if your are a low mortal?

Anonymous said...

I agreed with RB when he wrote the article on the golden year era is history.

To survive in this cruel and uncertain world, and to have at least a space in this metropolitan city, we must be DEBT-FREE or at least DEBT-LOW.

Please note that it is no more cheap to live here anymore.

Never never never follow the crowds in chasing after properties and other big ticket items which you can hardly hardly afford.

Going forward, simple living is the only answer, the only way.


Anonymous said...

Today it is cheaper to catch a flight to Paris/London to do your shopping than to buy at Orchard Road.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 3.00 pm. My niece living in London used to come back here to visit her mother and to do some shopping, but over the last couple of years she told me that she could buy the things she needed much cheaper in London than in Singapore.

So, it is definitely true that Singapore is an expensive place to live in. Never believe tha statistics of inflation and COL that the government cooked up. They are much higher. Those who do the marketing and housekeeping will know.

Anonymous said...

What the billionaire developer is saying is certainly not about skyrocketing prices of homes that is suicidal, but the restrictive rules. Got the drift?

Anonymous said...

Ya, got the drift. There should be no restrictive rules and the developers can sell everything to the world. We may not have a single square foot of land left to stand on. Nevermind it is good. Everyone can sell his HDB for $2m!

b said...

The few major central banks in this world are all run by the same family. They are experts in the study of greed and know how to create bubble and bust by playing with interest rates. All the financial woes are all coming from one single source.

b said...

The gov failure to control the crazy increase of property prices will result in a lot of social issues once the interest rate starts to go up and the property price starts to go down.

Anonymous said...

One billionaire = 1 vote
One daft Sinkie = 1 vote
There are many more daft Sinkies than billionaires in Singapore.

And yet the billionaire is deemed to be more important than the daft Sinkies.
Because daft Sinkies don't know how to vote wisely.

25542598 207

Anonymous said...

Seah Chiang Nee's Saturday column

[Singapore’s housing boom may be declining]

"Last week as I was writing this,
a headline in the Castlewood Group website read:
'Developers fight to overcome slowing market'.

Singapore developers were reportedly using 'sweeteners' in order to tempt wary investors
as the govt’s series of cooling measures hit demand."


Anonymous said...

"Because daft Sinkies don't know how to vote wisely."
Anon 5:27 pm

How can they be daft when they are rich? Not as rich as a billionaire but at least got a million bucks or so lah.

Do you know that at least 50% of Sinkie households have income of about $8K per month?

Anonymous said...

I think from income tax returns, property tax returns etc, PAP knows better than others how many rich Sinkies there are lah.

Maybe at least 60%.

Rich enough to live comfortably in high cost Sinkieland lah.

Anonymous said...

I have a feeling that support for PAP will remain at about 60% at next election.

But may not necessarily be the same 60% of Sinkies who supported PAP in 2011.

Do not underestimate the factor of new Sinkies as part of the 6.9 million target. There are many objectives of this target.