Singapore property market slowing down

Singapore's housing market is sucumbing to the global slump with official figures showing a 0.4% increase, the slowest for four years.

But property analysts say new developments including two casinos and a finance centre should help to underpin the long term market.

Singapore was one of the hottest investments last year with Jones Lang LaSalle putting it at the top of their list. Property prices surged 31%. Prices are now expected to fall in the third quarter of this year.

However experts rule out massive declines because of the multiplier effect from two multi-billion-dollar gaming resorts now under construction. Housing demand is expected to pick up when the first of the two casinos opens next year. 'These resorts will be employing thousands. Some of the workforce will come from abroad creating demand for rental accommodation,' said a spokesman for Jones Lang LaSalle.

The Marina Bay Financial Centre, a new financial district under construction which will also feature luxury apartments, should also underpin the market in the longer term.

'These figures indicate the residential property market may have peaked. But Singapore's positive mid-term prospects on the back of the completion of the two integrated resorts and the Marina Bay Financial Centre will help to prop prices up,' said a spokesman for Colliers International.

DTZ real estate consultancy has found that buyers are still interested in project launches. Some residential projects are enjoying sell-out status while others are being well received,' said Margaret Thean, DTZ's executive director for residential.

Rental yields are also expected to weather the storm, especially in central areas where demand is high.