Business Times - 31 Mar 2012
More cooling measures 'likely'
By MINDY TAN
THE likelihood of the government implementing a sixth round of cooling measures is now much higher than two months back.
That being said, measures, if implemented, are likely to happen only in the second quarter of this year, said Png Poh Soon, head of consultancy and research at Knight Frank.
'A few months doesn't really constitute a trend so naturally, the government will look - it may take one to two quarters to observe if this is a sustainable trend or if (the spike in sale volumes) is short-term,' he said.
Based on Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) figures for the month of February, a total of 2,413 private homes - excluding executive condominiums (ECs) - were sold, representing a 29 per cent month-on-month jump, and more than double the number sold in the same period last year.
Including ECs, a total of 3,138 units were sold in February, up 51 per cent from January's 2,077 units.
The robust buying sentiment has revived conjecture that the government might roll out additional cooling measures. This follows a series of cooling measures which culminated in the implementation of an additional buyer's stamp duty in December last year.
Said Mr Png: 'When the sixth round comes in, it could be a refinement of the existing five rounds of cooling measures, or it could be something drastically new. The way I look at it, it's likely a tightening of existing measures.'
'The market is actually in mixed flux. The resale market is quite dead, (but) new sales are doing very well. Is this (a sign of) a very stable and sustainable market? This is a question many people are interested in.'
Publish date: 31/03/12