Singapore Property Market Is 'Bottoming Out,' Says Biggest Developer's CEO

  • CEO Lim says investors favor city over Hong Kong, London
  • Extra liquidity plays a role, no shift in ‘fundamentals’: Lim

Lim Ming Yan, president and group chief executive officer at CapitaLand, discusses China's performance in the coming quarters, his investments in China, property prices in Singapore, and his outlook for the luxury property market. He speaks on 'Bloomberg Markets: Asia.' (Source: Bloomberg)

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Singapore’s biggest developer, CapitaLand Ltd., detects signs that the city’s residential property market is “bottoming out” after a run of price declines, Chief Executive Officer Lim Ming Yan said.

Many investors are seeing Singapore as relatively more attractive than Hong Kong, London or Australian cities, Lim, who’s also president of the firm, said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Haslinda Amin on Thursday. Extra liquidity was a factor in higher transaction volumes and slower price declines in recent months, he said.

“For a rebound to take place on a more sustainable basis, there has to be overall improvements in the fundamentals,” Lim said.

The government’s efforts to cool a red-hot market have triggered a record 15-quarter decline in home prices, in contrast with cities such as Hong Kong, where property keeps soaring to records. In March, Singapore eased some restrictions, but cautioned that those adjustments didn’t signal any bigger unwinding of curbs.

Singapore’s restrictions are “a very stringent policy,” so further tightening isn’t likely, Lim said. “At the same time, given the current market conditions, it’s unlikely that we will see a relaxation, certainly not within this year.”

Lim Ming Yan.

Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg

Home sales jumped 72 percent during the first half from a year earlier as developers sold 6,567 units, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Lim was commenting after CapitaLand said net income almost doubled to S$579 million ($426 million) in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier. Revenue declined 12 percent to S$992 million. Assets in China made up 43 percent of the S$44 billion CapitaLand portfolio as of June and Lim said in the interview that he’d be comfortable if that rose to 50 percent. CapitaLand shares have gained 23 percent this year.

— With assistance by Sebastian Tong, and Anand Menon

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