SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Second Minister for National Development, Indranee Rajah, has encouraged developers to remain prudent in their land bidding and not to over-extend themselves financially. She said this in a speech delivered on Feb 23 at the Spring Festival celebration of the Real Estate Developers’ Association of Singapore (REDAS).
Her comments come on the back of rising private home prices. According to URA data, for the full-year 2020, private residential prices increased by 2.2%, compared to a 2.7% increase in 2019. This is despite the ongoing pandemic, which has caused global economic disruption and is expected to draw out over a few years, since countries worldwide are experiencing waves of infection from new variants of the virus.
“How the global economic and pandemic situations pan out and the ongoing uncertainties may affect Singapore's economy, including our labour and property market. So, we do have to remain vigilant," she adds.
Under such conditions, developers and buyers all have a part to play, by being “professional, responsible and prudent, and not [stoking] exuberant sentiments in the property market”, she adds. “In the long run, a stable property market will benefit all stakeholders."
Additionally, she comments: “Prospective property buyers should be mindful of their ability to service mortgage obligations given the uncertain economic outlook and the protracted recovery in the domestic labour market, before making long-term financial commitments.”
She also notes that the built environment sector must prepare themselves to digitalise and transform to improve productivity. This can be done, for instance, by introducing more digital tools in the entire building life-cycle, so as to build and maintain the city more effectively and sustainably.
She referenced the Budget speech given by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat on Feb 16, where he shared about the launch of the new Growth and Transformation Scheme for the built environment sector.
“This will require developers to work closely with their consultants, contractors and suppliers to level up as an eco-system or value-chain, given the interconnected nature of construction,” says Rajah. “Developers, of course, play an important role in the overall transformation process.”
She encourages developers to continue their research and innovation efforts, promote the adoption of new processes, technology and designs, and collaborate with the other members of the sector.