Singapore’s latest demographics: what it means for housing
December 14, 2017

The best property analysis released these days is not about the red-hot en bloc fever, or the optimistic projection of possible growth for the property market in 2018.

The only recent piece of analysis that leaves much food for thought is Ku Swee Yong’s three-part articles on “Big Singapore Market Upgrade – Hype or Reality?” where he questions Morgan Stanley’s remarks about “property prices on track to double by 2030”.

In particular, Mr Ku provides his personal data and analyses to highlight three important facts which I can’t agree with him more:

1. Low population growth;
2. Home ownership rate has peaked; and
3. An aging population.

Slowdown in population growth

Still remember back in January 2013 when the government released the controversial Population White Paper (人口白皮书) and predicted Singapore’s population to reach 6 million by 2020 and 6.9 million by 2030?

What is the latest update? Well, the Population Trends 2017 published this September by the Singapore Department of Statistics shows that our total population grew 0.1 percent to 5.61 million. It is the slowest annual growth rate since the year SARS hit our shores in 2003.

If we continue to inch 0.1 percent every year, Singapore’s total population will only reach 5.69 million by 2030 – a far cry from the government’s ambitious target of 6.9 million.

If we need to have 6 million population by 2020, from now on we must have an annual growth rate of at least 2.2 percent, or add 126,000 more residents and foreigners every year to this Little Red Dot... read more

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