Friday, July 26, 2013

Rising household debts in Singapore worrying

The monetary authority of Singapore(MAS) has released statistics which shows a worrying trend of household debts in Singapore. There is also a separate report released by the ASEAN property pulse which showed that up to 9000 Singapore property owners could be forced to sell their homes if interest rates rise.

Here are some of the statistics from the reports:

1) 5%-10% of borrowers in Singapore has loans more than 60% of their income

2) A majority of mortgage loans are on floating rate packages which means households will face higher monthly repayments when interest rates goes up

3) Only 70% of the existing loans are for owner occupied homes meaning investor demand for private homes is running quite high.

Once interest rates rise, some owners will have problems paying their mortgages and will have to sell their house. Coupled with the bump up of new housing units in the market expected to be completed within the next 3 years, this will cause imbalances in the economy where supply is more than demand. We should expect a correction in property prices within the next 2 years.

The government has sounded warning signals over the past 1 year. MAS has stepped in to impose stricter rules on loans. All these are signs that we should take note and not ignore.

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