Thu, Feb 21, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Singapore property not set for ‘big bump’: CapitaLand

Bloomberg

Central Singapore’s promenade and skyline is pictured on Feb. 8.

Photo: AFP

Singapore home prices are unlikely to stage a rapid rebound after the government imposed further property curbs in the middle of last year, the finance chief of the city-state’s largest developer said.

“If we see a 5 percent increase in home prices I think that will be a pretty good year for the Singapore residential market,” CapitaLand Ltd (凱德) chief financial officer Andrew Lim said in an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday.

“The severity and extent of the measures in July caught us by surprise,” Lim said.

Home prices posted their first decline in six quarters in the final three months of last year.

In July last year, the government imposed higher stamp duties and tougher loan-to-value rules to choke off a sudden bout of exuberance.

The earlier resurgence had been marked by aggressive land bids from developers and an explosion in en-bloc sales, where apartment owners band together to sell entire buildings.

“We agree with the main view on the street, which is that we don’t expect a big bump up anytime soon,” Lim said.

CapitaLand’s profit rose 71 percent to S$475.5 million (US$351 million) in the quarter that ended on Dec. 31 last year, bolstered by asset sales and property revaluations, the company said.

Its shares yesterday rose 1.2 percent in Singapore, taking this year’s gain to 10 percent.

The developer last month agreed to acquire Temasek Holdings Pte units Ascendas Pte and Singbridge Pte, bolstering its assets to more than S$116 billion across 180 cities in 32 countries.

The deal adds logistics centers and business parks to its portfolio of residential, retail and commercial property.

“Ascendas will bring us greater diversity and operational excellence in new economy sectors of logistics and business parks,” Lim said. “Ascendas has very strong expertise in markets that CapitaLand does not have, such as India, Australia and [South] Korea.”

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