LAWRENCE WONG: GOVT TO CONTINUE BUILDING MORE HDB FLATS, COOLING MEASURES TO GO ON

In an interview with reporters today, newly appointed Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong says It is still “not time yet” to ease the cooling measures put in place by his predecessor, Mr Khaw Boon Wan.

“We don’t want to risk a premature market rebound,” he said, adding that the government would ease the cooling measures depending on a whole range of indicators, including price, domestic and overseas economic situation, and whether the US Federal Reserve was likely to increase interest rates.

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Data from the Housing Development Board (HDB) and Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) has already shown that home prices hit a 2 year low in the 3rd quarter of the year.

According to Wong, the cooling measures implemented by the government have helped to stabilize the property market and allowed for a controlled adjustment of property prices. “We should let it continue,” Wong said.

To this effect, Mr Wong also announced that the government would be building more new HDB flats next year as it expects the demand for such flats to rise due to recent changes in policies, which have allowed Singaporeans with higher income ceilings to apply for flats and more Singaporeans to receive CPF grants.

Mr Wong said that the supply will likely be below 20,000 units, and a "slight adjustment" from the 15,000 units planned for this year.

“We had a huge housing programme where we built more than 20,000 at one time over a few years, then we tapered off to 15,000. We are not going back to over 20,000, but it’s a slight adjustment from 15,000,” he said.

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