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    Default Redas urges developers to be more prudent in land purchase, capital allocation

    Redas urges developers to be more prudent in land purchase, capital allocation

    Far East Organization CEO Philip Ng presented with Redas' Lifetime Achievement Award at gala dinner

    Tue, Dec 03, 2019

    LEE U-WEN


    WITH the conditions for the real estate industry becoming more challenging, developers in Singapore have been urged to take stock and adopt a more prudent approach in land purchase and capital allocation.

    Making this call was Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) president Chia Ngiang Hong, who noted that developers here are already more cautious in their bidding for land.

    "En bloc activity has also slowed significantly. As developers, we are very concerned with the present challenging market situation of high supply and subdued demand," he said at a dinner on Monday to mark the association's 60th anniversary.

    "We hope the government will continue to watch the pulse of the market, with the aim of maintaining a stable and sustainable market in line with economic fundamentals," he told 700 guests, which included Social and Family Development Minister and Second National Development Minister Desmond Lee.

    In his speech, Mr Chia called for Redas and its members to work closer with one another, with the government and its agencies, and all partners and stakeholders "to push the industry transformation, innovation and internationalisation agenda".

    "Redas will facilitate, support and push the realisation of these objectives," he said.

    "We also need to be more proactive in facilitating dialogues with government and together help shape policies which are pro-enterprise and pro-business, and which will support economic growth and optimise outcomes for our nation," said Mr Chia, adding that a new committee would be formed within Redas to oversee this.

    At the dinner, Redas presented its Lifetime Achievement Award to its patron Philip Ng, the chief executive officer of Far East Organization. The award was for Mr Ng's "valued contributions to Redas, the community and the built environment in Singapore", said Redas in a news release.

    Mr Ng is the fourth person to receive the award; the others are former patrons Kwek Leng Beng and Kwee Liong Keng, and past-president Daniel Teo.

    Redas said that the award "recognises successful and exemplary real estate business leaders for their significant contributions to not only the association but also the community and real estate sector".

    This year, Redas also continued its tradition of giving back to society, said Mr Chia. It will donate S$50,000 each to ARC Children's Centre and HCA Hospice Care.

    A total of S$300,000 has been raised for the Community Chest in support of the KidSTART programme. This is made up of S$240,000 pledged by over 40 Redas members, with the Redas Foundation contributing S$60,000.

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    Default Re: Redas urges developers to be more prudent in land purchase, capital allocation

    Property market stable but faces risks: Desmond Lee

    Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said that private housing prices appear to be moving more in line with economic fundamentals than they were in the first half of last year.

    Published 7 hours ago

    Updated 3 hours ago

    Toh Ting Wei


    The property market is now broadly stable, but risks from trade rows and geopolitical tensions could still hit the sector, Second Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said yesterday.

    He told the 60th anniversary dinner of the Real Estate Developers' Association of Singapore (Redas) that private housing prices appear to be moving more in line with economic fundamentals than they were in the first half of last year.

    Land bids have also been more cautious, he added, noting that the Government will need to continue to take an active role in order to keep the market stable.

    Mr Lee, who is also the Minister for Social and Family Development, noted: "These are signs that the market is not overly exuberant, but growing at a more sustainable pace.

    "But we should also be clear-eyed on the global outlook, which remains uncertain."

    Uncertainties in the market include the United States-China trade conflict, Brexit, tensions between Japan and South Korea and the situation in Hong Kong.

    Mr Lee, who was speaking to about 680 people at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore, noted that there are concerns that these uncertainties could attract capital inflows into the local property market, given Singapore's status as a safe haven.

    "At this point, the share of transactions by foreigners remains stable and low, accounting for 5 to 6 per cent of total transactions over the past three quarters," he added.

    It is important that the property market remains stable and sustainable, given that it has a direct impact on the lives and aspirations of Singaporeans.

    Continued government intervention, such as the cooling measures in July last year, is needed to maintain this stability, he added.

    Mr Lee said: "We cannot take a hands-off approach to the property market, because our experience here and abroad has shown that left to itself, (the market) tends to go through large price swings, which harms genuine home buyers and home owners."

    Developers should pace out launches steadily to match demand from buyers amid an expected increase in supply of private housing units, he added.

    Redas president Chia Ngiang Hong said developers are concerned over the challenging market situation of high supply and subdued demand.

    He added that they need to be more proactive in facilitating dialogue with the Government and "together help shape policies which are pro-enterprise and pro-business".

    To do this, Redas will form a committee to raise concerns with government agencies.

    Mr Chia also announced yesterday that Redas had raised $600,000 for KidStart, a programme that offers parenting help for low-income families with children up to age six.

    Mr Lee praised the move, noting that the strengthening of social safety nets is needed with social challenges expected to get harder.

    Meanwhile, he also called on developers to look to the future, with much work still to be done.

    Upcoming projects include the Jurong Innovation District, Greater Southern Waterfront and the relocation of Paya Lebar Air Base.

    Developers must also play their part in addressing the threat posed by climate change, said Mr Lee. This should be done through making green buildings a priority and coming up with engineering solutions to address the impact of climate change.

    The Government will look to actively support developers who want to innovate, he added.

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