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BCA sees steady improvement in construction market

With the rescheduling of “a few major public sector infrastructure projects”, total construction contracts awarded last year fell below expectations at $ 24.5 billion, reported Channel News Asia citing preliminary estimates from the Building and Construction Authority (BCA).

The value of construction contracts to be awarded in 2018 is expected to stand at $ 26 billion to $ 31 billion, a downward revision from the initial forecast of between $ 26 billion and $ 35 billion.

The downward revision was attributed by BCA to the “continued drag from the significant slowdown in private sector construction demand since 2015”.

Nonetheless, BCA expects private sector’s construction demand to increase from last year’s $ 9 billion to between $ 10 billion and $ 12 billion this year, on the back of a brighter economic outlook as well as improved property market sentiment.

Public sector construction demand is also expected to rise from $ 15.5 billion in 2017 to between $ 16 billion and $ 19 billion in 2018.

Looking ahead, BCA sees the construction market improving steadily in the medium term, with demand forecasted to reach $ 26 billion to $ 33 billion per annum in 2019 and 2020.

It expects demand to improve further in 2021 and 2022 at between $ 28 billion and $ 35 billion.

Taking the lead, the public sector is predicted to contribute $ 16 billion to $ 20 billion per year from 2019 to 2022 in view of the major infrastructure projects expected such as the Changi Airport Terminal 5 and Cross Island Line.

BCA expects private sector construction demand to gradually increase also in the medium term due to the spill-over benefits generated by the city-state’s improved economic performance and the redevelopment of collective sale sites.

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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HDB to maintain a steady supply of flats next year, Wong

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will maintain a steady supply of around 17,000 new flats in 2018, comparable to the 17,584 flats launched this year, revealed Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong.

“We will continue to calibrate our flat supply carefully, taking into account underlying demand and the stability of the HDB resale market,” he said in a blog post.

Wong noted that around 1,000 flats will be launched in Yishun, Sembawang and Sengkang in the second half of 2018. The flats will have shorter waiting periods of around 2.5 years, instead of the usual three to four years for most other Build-to-Order (BTO) projects.

New flat buyers can expect a “good spread of projects across mature and non-mature estates, including flats in the new Tengah town”.

For this year, Wong said the government focused on helping first-timer families acquire their own home.

To help such couples better afford a flat in the open market, the government raised the Central Provident Fund Housing Grant from $ 30,000 to $ 40,000 or $ 50,000 in February 2017.

The enhanced grant has benefitted close to 6,900 first-timer households, said Wong.

The government also raised the rent subsidies for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), benefiting around 840 households who are waiting for their new flats to be ready.

In August 2017, the government also launched the first Re-offer of Balance Flats (ROF) exercise for those with urgent housing needs or who are not so particular about location.

“While the flat selection exercise is still ongoing, about 800 households have already managed to book a flat,” shared Wong.

“All these mean that young couples will have even more affordable and accessible housing options to start their marriage and parenthood journey early.”

 

This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.

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