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    Gong Xi Fa Cai! Chinese New Year 2020 is just around the corner.

    If you’ve got any relatives who work as real estate agents, it’s very likely that some of the conversation around the table will be about the property market.

    With that in mind, we’ve prepared a quick list of common questions people are likely to ask their property agent relatives – so you can come to the table better armed for intelligent debate.

     

    1. Will the property market in Singapore crash in 2020?

    Not likely.

    There are a few factors at play here:

    • Because the Singapore general election will be held this year, the government has an added incentive to keep the property market stable.
    • With the ongoing unrest in Hong Kong and the US-China trade wars, foreign investors are looking to Singapore’s property market as a “safe haven.” This has increased demand for high-end luxury condos.
    • The Enhanced CPF Housing Grant introduced last year has given a boost to the resale HDB market.

     

    2. Will condo prices drop in 2020?

    Not likely.

    Many are under the impression that because of the glut of new condos currently in the pipeline, condo prices will be forced downward. I hate to burst your bubble, but this doesn’t apply to the new launches you’ve been looking forward to.

    Why? Many of these property developers acquired the land at the peak of the market – largely during the en-bloc fever a few years back. But this means they’re forced to sell the units at high prices to avoid making a loss.

    Sure, they’re clamoring for the property cooling measures to be removed so they have an easier time clearing all those units. But the government is unlikely to be swayed since they’ll want to keep the status quo during an election year.

    Put it this way: if the government were to do something to hammer down the prices of private property, it’s going to make private homeowners unhappy – especially those who want to sell.

    And if they do anything to boost the prices of private property, it will make those who aspire to buy private property unhappy.

     

    3. What’s the property market outlook for 2020?


    A) A Better Resale Private Property Market

    2019 was not bad, and 2020 will likely be around the same as well. There won’t be any major price swings – in fact, the market will probably be a bit quiet because of the massive oversupply.

    But the one good thing from the property glut is the boost to the resale private property market. Since new launch prices are high now, we’re seeing more demand for resale units instead.

     

    B) There May Be A Round of SERS

    There’s been a Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) announcement every two years since 2012, so analysts are expecting another one this year.

    If it does come, it’ll likely be after CNY. Analysts speculate that the next SERS will take place in Holland Village or Queenstown.

    Under SERS, affected residents will get the opportunity to move to a new home nearby with a renewed 99-year lease. To make up for all the trouble, these homeowners will also be given a package with compensation and rehousing benefits.

     

    C) The Private Property Market is Rather Soft This Year

    Even though we’ve noticed an increased demand for resale private property, prices have remained largely stable.

    It’s still possible to sell off that private property if you’d like to, but you probably won’t be able to fetch that sky-high figure you were dreaming of.

     

    4. Do you still have viewings during CNY?

    Of course! The Lunar New Year may be packed with festivities for Chinese families, but there are many non-Chinese families who would take advantage of the holiday to go house hunting.

    Plus, certain business owners may only have time to go for viewings during the Chinese New Year break.

    That said, if the resale property in question happens to belong to a Chinese family, they’ll typically want to schedule viewings only from the third day of CNY onwards.

     

     

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