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Singapore

Recent policy changes set to give Singapore’s property market a boost

JLL predicts office, retail and residential sectors will pick up with population growth and lightened cooling measures


​SINGAPORE, 3 April 2017 – Singapore’s property market will likely see a recovery in office demand and retail sales growth in 2017 as the nation’s economy gets a boost from an increase in the number of skilled workers. The residential sector also looks set to improve with the recent ease in cooling measures, says JLL. 

According to recently released figures, the number of employment pass holders rose 2.3% in 2016 even though overall employment grew by just 0.5%. In fact, in the last 18 months, the number of employment pass holders rose 7%, compared to just 2% over the 36-month period in 2012-2014, showing there is significant relaxation in the inflow of skilled workers into Singapore. The government targets to create about 25,000 to 40,000 jobs annually for the next few years, double the rate in 2014-2016. JLL estimates this could imply that the city’s population may grow 1.5 to 1.8 per cent per year between 2017 and 2025. This compares to a growth rate of 1.27 per cent in 2014 to 2016. 

“We believe that the government’s ambitious target to create new jobs means that Singapore will continue to allow more skilled workers into the country,” says Regina Lim, Head of Southeast Asia Capital Markets Research, JLL. “Singapore’s inflation is expected to hit 1.0 percent in 2017, after two years of deflation. Historically, office demand correlates with GDP growth, and this will likely spur the growth of retail sales and rental values. Singapore’s economy is expected to grow by 2.6 per cent in 2017 and 3.2 per cent in 2018. Putting these factors together, we can expect to see office demand and retail sales to improve after slowing for the last six years.”

Meanwhile the residential market is making its way to recovery following the gradual relaxation of cooling measures. As part of the budget announced in February, the government has increased housing grants for purchase of resale public housing (HDB) flats by S$10,000 to S$20,000. This signals a possible hike in resale sales proceeds, lifting sentiment amongst HDB households aspiring to upgrade to private homes.

“A healthy resale HDB market helps to stabilise the private residential sector, which may translate to a five to 10 per cent increase in mass condominium sales.” adds Ms Lim. “Another adjustment made is the reduction of seller’s stamp duty, which signals to the market that the government is firmly on a relaxation path to gradually remove the property cooling measures as interest rates rise over the next few years.”

Based on JLL estimates, private luxury home transaction volumes could go up by 20 to 30 per cent year-on-year and prices are expected to rise by two to five per cent in 2017.

Download the report ‘Back to life, back to growth’ here. 

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About JLL
JLL (NYSE: JLL) is a leading professional services firm that specializes in real estate and investment management. A Fortune 500 company, JLL helps real estate owners, occupiers and investors achieve their business ambitions. In 2016, JLL had revenue of $6.8 billion and fee revenue of $5.8 billion and, on behalf of clients, managed 4.4 billion square feet, or 409 million square meters, and completed sales acquisitions and finance transactions of approximately $136 billion. At year-end 2016, JLL had nearly 300 corporate offices, operations in over 80 countries and a global workforce of more 
than 77,000. As of December 31, 2016, LaSalle Investment Management has $60.1 billion of real estate under asset management. JLL is the brand name, and a registered trademark, of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. For further information, visit http://www.jll.com.

JLL has over 50 years of experience in Asia Pacific, with 36,000 employees operating in 94 offices in 16 countries across the region. The firm won the ‘World’s Best’ and ‘Best in Asia Pacific’ International Property Consultancy at the International Property Awards in 2016 and was named number one real estate investment advisory firm in Asia Pacific for the sixth consecutive year by Real Capital Analytics.  www.ap.jll.com.