Singapore Property Market Weathers Recession as Home Prices Rise

Views of Singapore as Prime Minister says Covid-19 to ‘Weigh Heavily’ on City-State's Economy

Photographer: Wei Leng Tay/Bloomberg

Singapore home prices rose last quarter as low interest rates and huge government stimulus helped the property market weather the city-state’s worst recession.

Property values increased 0.8% in the three months ended Sept. 30, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s preliminary estimate released Thursday.

The stronger-than-expected result prompted analysts to revise forecasts, saying prices may rise as much as 1.5% this year, having previously estimated declines of as much as 6%.

The figures, which come on the back of an 11-month high in home sales, signal the property market is recovering after a two-month lockdown to combat the coronavirus. To cushion the economic fallout, the government unleashed more than S$100 billion ($73.3 billion) of stimulus. It has since relaxed virus curbs and lifted travel restrictions for tourists from Australia and Vietnam.

“The property market remained resilient in spite of the uncertainties in

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New home sales surge to highest level since before the Great Recession

The numbers: Sales of new single-family homes in August exceeded an annual rate of 1 million for the first time since 2006, as buyers were forced into the market for newly-constructed properties thanks to the dearth of home listings.

New home sales occurred at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 1.011 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. That represents a 4.8% increase from an upwardly-revised pace of 965,000 homes in July. Compared with last year, new home sales are up 43%.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected home sales to drop to median pace of 900,000.

What happened: Not all parts of the country saw an uptick in sales despite the historically high rate nationally. New home sales fell 21.4% in the Midwest and 1.7% in the West. Comparatively, the South saw the biggest increase in sales with a 13.4% jump, while sales volumes rose by 5% in the Northeast.

The

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New home sales surge to highest level since before the Great Recession, as buyers are pushed into the new construction market

The numbers: Sales of new single-family homes in August exceeded an annual rate of 1 million for the first time since 2006, as buyers were forced into the market for newly-constructed properties thanks to the dearth of home listings.

New home sales occurred at a seasonally-adjusted, annual rate of 1.011 million, the Census Bureau reported Thursday. That represents a 4.8% increase from an upwardly-revised pace of 965,000 homes in July. Compared with last year, new home sales are up 43%.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected home sales to drop to median pace of 900,000.

What happened: Not all parts of the country saw an uptick in sales despite the historically high rate nationally. New home sales fell 21.4% in the Midwest and 1.7% in the West. Comparatively, the South saw the biggest increase in sales with a 13.4% jump, while sales volumes rose by 5% in the Northeast.

The

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Foreclosure Crisis Rivaling Great Recession Likely: St. Lous Fed

(iStock)

(iStock)

Though a foreclosure crisis is on the horizon, experts say recent fiscal policy will prevent a full collapse of the financial system.

“It’s a slow-moving process,” Bill Emmons, an economist at the St. Louis Federal Reserve, said during a presentation on housing insecurity on Wednesday. “It definitely looks like there will be another major event, but hopefully not as bad as the foreclosure crisis associated with the Great Recession.”

This time around, however, the financial system won’t collapse, Emmons predicted, thanks to measures taken in recent months which provided liquidity to the market. The Fed announced in March it would buy back $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities, and has signaled that its benchmark rate will remain low through 2023, which will in turn keep mortgage rates low. Emmons said public health policies, on the other hand, have “fallen short.”

The actual level of distress is difficult to determine because

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