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Private home supply increases in island-state [31-10-2012]  
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The number of new private properties in the pipeline has ballooned to more than 100,000 units at the end of the third quarter, said Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

The news may bring cheer to buyers concerned about the persistent uptick in prices but dismay to those who had bought for investment or leasing purposes.

The upcoming private home supply comprises 83,975 private residential units, 9,824 executive condominiums and 10,070 units from land sites that the government has sold, or that are slated for sale. This is the highest-ever total recorded since data was collected in 2001.

The URA said many of the units would be completed in the next three or four years. More than 35,000 units will be ready next year and in 2014, with the rest completed after that.

More than 36,000 private residential units or about 44% of the upcoming supply remain unsold. Developers have some leeway to hold back units, but not much. A cooling measure last year requires that they build and sell residential units within five years or face a 10% stamp duty.

In addition, the Housing Development Board (HDB) has announced that it would roll out another 6,400 build-to-order flats next month in Bedok, Choa Chu Kang, Queenstown, Sengkang and Toa Payoh, bringing its crop of new flats this year to the promised 27,000 also a record high.

“Taken altogether, the numbers do look daunting,” said Colliers' director of research and advisory Chia Siew Chuin. “The ramping up of supply is to keep prices stable but there is some concern whether this is tantamount to oversupply.”

The hefty numbers, combined with the government's move to slow the influx of foreign labour, would likely hit the rental market the hardest in the coming years, said analysts.

The vacancy rate of completed private residential units had increased slightly to 6.1% in the third quarter from 5.9% the quarter before, said the URA.

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