S’pore promised infrastructure boom 

Major Singaporean infrastructure projects over the next decade will put the national economy on a stronger footing, according to Lawrence Wong, minister for national development.

He told the Singapore Regional Business Forum: “Singapore may be a little red dot, very small. Some of you may have the impression that we are already very built up. But in fact, we are not done building Singapore yet. We have not reached our physical limits.

“The infrastructure that we’re putting in will include several major pieces. For example, look at Changi Airport: we will be building a new Terminal 5 that will double everything… Look at our sea ports, they look big, the container ports, but we are building a new Tuas megaport in the western part of Singapore which will also double the capacity,” Wong said.

He said rail connectivity to Malaysia would further improve Singapore’s regional links.

“There is a lot of work for us to do, but we must have confidence that we can make it happen. If you look at our history in Singapore, we have never failed in restructuring our economy before,” Wong added.

“Let’s have confidence in ourselves, in our companies and in the partnerships that we have forged.”

He said the city-state was “fully supportive” of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, noting that Singaporean firms were “natural partners” for Chinese businesses looking for an Asean expansion.

In other signs of development, Singapore’s home sales increased 35 per cent in July, as more new projects came onto the market.

Developers sold 1,108 homes last month, compared with 820 in June, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Around 690 properties were made available, up from 159 in June.

The sales in July were the highest since April 2016, when 1,567 homes were sold

The Singaporean authorities, determined to limit rising accommodation costs, have used a series of cooling measures since 2009. The Lion City in March relaxed some property-market restrictions for the first time in eight years, while reminding the property sector that other measures would remain in place.

Property prices have dropped for 15 straight quarters, the longest fall since records were first published in 1975. An index tracking private home prices fell 0.1 per cent in the second quarter of 2017 from the previous quarter. Housing values dropped 12 per cent from their 2013 peak.

Developers claim they are seeing signs of a recovery. CapitaLand CEO Lim Ming Yan opined that the residential property market was “bottoming out” and City Developments boss Kwek Leng Beng said the “heartbeat” of Singapore’s residential property market was apparently strengthening.

Some of the projects launched in July include the Martin Modern, which sold 109 of 210 apartments on offer, while Symphony Suites sold 73 homes in July.

Singapore docks are set to double in capacity. Picture credit: Flickr