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Singapore Property - Another Round Of Cooling Measures

Shared By Stock Fanatic on Friday, July 6, 2018 | 6.7.18

Share prices of developers are likely to suffer a knee jerk reaction to the latest residential property cooling measures. Based on previous cooling measures in 2011 and 2013, we see potential worst-case downside of 11-25% for our key stocks. Our current OVERWEIGHT call on the sector is under review.

Here we go again. The government announced further residential property cooling measures by adjusting additional buyer stamp duty (ABSD) and loan-to-value (LTV) limits from 6 Jul 18.

More pain from ABSD; only first-time buyers are exempted from changes. First-time home buyers will not be affected by the latest ABSD changes, with ABSD to remain at 0% for Singapore citizens and 5% for Singapore permanent residents. Otherwise, ABSD will be raised by 5ppt for all other individuals and 10ppt for entities. The government also introduced an additional ABSD of 5% that is non-remittable for developers purchasing residential properties for housing development. Developers may apply for the remission of the 25% ABSD subject to conditions, including the completion and selling all units within five years for licensed developers.

LTV limits will be tightened by 5ppt for all housing loans granted by financial institutions. The changes in LTV limits will not apply to loans granted by HDB. Details of the LTV for first and subsequent housing loan are highlighted in the next page.

Swift follow-up. While some property cooling measures could not be ruled out previously, the market was surprised by the swift follow-up and demand-side measures as initial expectations were that there could be some supply side cooling measures instead. This is due to the slew of en-blocs and aggressive bidding for selective government land sales (GLS). Following the revision, developers will be subjected to an upfront non-remittable 5% ABSD upon the purchase of residential property and an additional 25% (previously 15%) ABSD if developers do not meet selected conditions such as the completion and sales of all units within five years. This is expected to significantly impact new en-bloc attempts, particularly large estates given the onerous penalties.

What happened in the previous cooling measures? Residential property sales volume is expected to fall as only first-time home buyers are exempted from the higher ABSD. We estimate current investment demand at 20-25% and this segment could slow down significantly. During the previous cooling measures in 2013, transaction volumes fell 25% yoy. As for prices for residential properties during the previous cooling measures since 2009, the property price index (PPI) held up well in 2010-12 but eventually declined steadily in since 3Q2013-2Q2017 (11.6% decline from peak PPI in 3Q2013) as the full brunt of the property cooling measures reined in prices. Notable were the measures introduced in 2013 which included a jump in ABSD in January and introduction of total debt service ratio (TDSR) in June. The TDSR resulted in a 33% hoh decline in transactions of private residential property six months after its introduction.

Widening discount to RNAVs. Since 1995, developers have traded at an average discount of 15% to RNAV. The current discount for the developers to RNAV is 30%. Our analysis suggests that this discount widened to a peak of 35% in 2011 and 41% in 2013-14 due to the slowdown in residential property market after the measures. A caveat is that this analysis assumes the main causation of the widening discount is due to the sector-specific measures.

Brace yourself. We put our sector rating under review as the fallout from the latest cooling measures has yet to be seen and share prices are likely to have a knee-jerk reaction. Our earnings estimates and RNAVs have been maintained but we expect discounts to RNAVs to expand by at least 5-10%. We highlight the potential downside in the share prices of developers under our coverage assuming their respective discount to RNAV expands to the peak discount during 2011-13.

Diversified developers with strong financials will be more resilient. Share prices of developers are likely to suffer a knee-jerk reaction and all developers will be impacted. Once the dust settles, we think well diversified developers with strong balance sheets will be more resilient. Within our key picks, we estimate CapitaLand has the lowest exposure with 7.6% of its RNAV from Singapore residential property, followed by Wing Tai at 26.5% and City Developments at 31.5%. CapitaLand also has a higher proportion of recurring earnings streams (ie non-development businesses) at 80%, vs City Developments at 47%.

Source : UOB KayHian Research
(Read Report)

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Posted on Friday, July 6, 2018 | 6.7.18
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