Speculators may turn to commercial property

Speculators may turn to commercial property

SINGAPORE - Buyer interest in commercial property is growing in the wake of last week's cooling measures, which included curbs on red-hot industrial property.

Experts said commercial property, as yet untouched by any of the seven rounds of cooling measures, could become the new target segment of speculators.

All eyes are now on upcoming launches of office and retail space, which analysts said could be oversubscribed.

The industrial cooling measures consist of a seller's stamp duty, imposed for the first time on the sector.

It ranges from 5 to 15 per cent and applies to industrial property or land sold within three years of purchase.

This is meant to dampen speculative activity in the industrial segment, where prices have doubled over the past three years.

But analysts suggested this was like plugging a leak only to have another spring up.

"I'm worried about the impact on the commercial segment," said Mr Roy Chong, head of business space at PropNex.

He noted that when the Government capped industrial leases at 30 years in a bid to make them more affordable for genuine industrialists, prices of 60-year leasehold industrial properties shot up.

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