Government plans to release more market data on rents for HDB flats

By Wong Siew Ying, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 24 July 2007 2147 hrs

SINGAPORE: The government is planning to release more market data on rents for HDB flats soon.

This is to help potential tenants better understand the situation and make a more informed decision, said Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu, at an HDB event on Tuesday.

Rentals for some HDB flats have gone through the roof recently following the boom in the property market.

It has reportedly hit a 10-year high, with monthly rates of over S$2,000 for some flats.

Resale prices for some choice units have also ballooned.

Figures from the HDB showed that some 70 per cent of resale flats sold between April and June this year were above valuation.

While the government is not unduly worried about the spike in resale prices and rentals, it is keeping a close watch.

Said Ms Fu, "The government is not doing anything to dampen the market per se. I think we just want to make sure there's no, I would say, exuberance that's not warranted, that is driving the market.

"So we just want to make sure that there's sufficient information, and that people are making informed decisions, that's our objective."

Ms Fu said the information would cover market data, as well as the obligations involved, so that consumers know what they are getting into.

Even though it is for buyers to chase prices and sellers to inflate the asking price, Ms Fu believes the market will adjust itself if it is not supported by real demand.

Ms Fu also said that there has been much focus on exceptional cases and she hopes home buyers and tenants can look at the issue calmly.

This includes doing more extensive research on the property market and evaluating alternative options in less mature estates.

The HDB is also focusing on ensuring home buyers do not spread themselves too thinly in terms of financing.

Meanwhile, all eyes will be on the latest property prices for the April to June period, which will be released on Friday.

It is set to be comprehensive, shedding light on prices and market activity. - CNA/yy