CapitaLand CEO: S’pore property ‘bottoming out’

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

Many investors are seeing Singapore as relatively more attractive than Hong Kong, Lon- don or Australian cities, Lim, who’s also president of the firm, said in a Bloomberg TV interview with Haslinda Amin yesterday.

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.”

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.”

Home sales jumped 72% 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 (RM1.82 billion) in the three months ended June 30 from a year earlier. Revenue declined 12% to S$992 million. Assets in China made up 43% of the S$44 billion CapitaLand portfolio as of June, and Lim said that he’d be comfortable if that rose to 50%. CapitaLand shares have gained 23% this year. — Bloomberg