The world is going through a stressful economic period as inflation continues to rise in different countries. To control this Inflation, the US government announced in the earlier months this year that Interest Rates are expected to increase in seven different rounds.
Each round will see a 0.25% increase in the FED interest rate, which will lead to an increase of 1.75%, putting the total Fed rate to 1.9% by the end of this year. The interest rate on houses and mortgages is already touching 5% in the US.
So, how does all this economic activity affect Singapore real estate investment and Singapore property prices?
The economic activity in the US has a huge impact on most other countries around the world. The rising inflation and the subsequent rise in interest rates will affect the rates in Singapore in the near future, which means Singapore is likely going to witness an increase in interest rates everywhere.
This increase will not only affect the Singapore bank interest rates but also impact the prices of private property Singapore and house for rent in Singapore. If you are in the market for buying an executive condominium or are looking for some other Singapore real estate investment opportunity, you need to know the effect increasing interest rates will have on prices.
This guide will cover the impact of higher interest rates on Singapore real estate. Keep reading.
How Interest Rates Impacts Real Estate
The first thing you should know is that the Fed interest rate is different from the market interest rate. The FED rate is the one that banks pay to other banks when borrowing money from them to maintain their federal reserves.
So, how does this interest rate rise suddenly? Banks are the controlling centre of cash. If cash is not flowing around in the market and open system, it is reserved inside a bank. If the banks intend to increase the interest rates, they limit the amount of cash floating in the system.
To control the amount of cash in the market, the banks start issuing bonds, securities, and other investment options to get the cash back into the bank. With less money out in the system, the demand for it rises above the supply. Due to this limited supply, the interest rate in the market increases.
Since there is less money floating around in the system, inflation comes to a halt. This is how increasing interest rates or rather controlling the flow of money in the system helps control inflation. In some cases, when the demand is too high, even high interest rates may not be able to fully tame inflation.
Impact Of Us Economic Activity On Singapore
The banking system today is connected across borders and barriers. Most banks around the world hold reserves in USD, and banks in Singapore also borrow from banks in the US. In this way, the effect of change in the economic environment of the US, including change in interest rates, is felt in Singapore as well.
The floating money in the open market has reduced in the US, but the demand for loans from the banks has remained steady and even increased. This led to an increase in the interest rates in the US. Not only has the interest rate increased for normal consumers, but it has become more expensive for banks to borrow from US banks.
As banks have to pay a higher FED rate for borrowing internationally, it is only a matter of time before people in Singapore will have to face the increasing interest rates in all sectors too.
Rising Interest Rates And The Impact On Mortgage
As interest rates are increasing for interbank borrowing, the effect will soon be felt in the life of a normal consumer looking to invest in Singapore real estate. Whether you are looking for an executive condo Singapore, some other private property Singapore, or a house for rent in Singapore, the impending rise in interest rate will affect Singapore property prices trend.
The SIBOR or interbank rate took a hike between the first quarter of 2022 to the second quarter of 2022 by 0.368%. The SORA or overnight rate also rose by 0.467%. SORA and the foxed deposit rate in a bank affect the mortgage rate in Singapore. With an increase in SORA, you can expect to see the mortgage rates going up as well.
Hedge Against Rising Interest Rate
If you want to hedge against the impending rise in interest rates, it is better to lock in a fixed interest rate at a reduced number right now. The issue with a fixed rate is that it leads to higher instalments, but you will have to pay a lower mortgage rate if the normal market rate is currently on the rise.
A safe bet is to check the SIBOR and SORA rates for the last three months and take a weighted average to give you an idea of the volatility of the interest rates. Fixed rates give you more stability on mortgage rates by removing this concept of volatility, but you will have to pay a bit higher for this stability.
Moreover, there are several factors that come into play when rates are increased. For example, the main purpose of increasing interest rates is to control inflation in the US. If inflation gets under control in the current environment, the government might not feel the need to increase the interest rates further.
Given the current situation of inflation in the US and the government putting in Singapore property cooling measures 2021 to control the prices of Singapore real estate, it is likely that interest rates will increase to soothe demand for property and dampen the prices.
The estimated rise in the mortgage rate is from 2% to 4% during 2023, while the overall interest rate is also expected to increase, going up by at least 1.5% to 2% till the end of this year. So, it is most likely safe to go for locking fixed rates on mortgages.
Singapore Real Estate Affordability, Demand, And Supply
As the increase in interest rate is looming over, it is normal to assume that the prices will go up for Singapore real estate and the demand will go down accordingly. It is believed that people will not want to buy when the interest rate is on a hike, and demand would decrease, leading to an increase in prices for private property Singapore in places where its available for sale.
However, the real scenario for Singapore real estate investment is a bit different. Let’s take a detailed look at how the increasing interest rate would affect the affordability of people, the supply of houses, and the demand for them.
Affordability of homes in the situation of higher interest rates would certainly take a hit in Singapore. People would now need more income to cover the higher mortgage instalment every month. So, unless the income increases in parallel, people won’t be able to afford houses like before.
But will this decrease in affordability necessarily affect the supply and demand of houses in Singapore? Supply And Demand Of Singapore Real Estate
A perfect example to depict this scenario is the launch of a recent real estate project in Singapore, Piccadilly Grand, which sold 77% of its units at an average price of $2150 per square foot during the launch weekend alone.
This is just one example that shows the demand for real estate in Singapore has not been put to the curb completely. The supply of investment in real estate has decreased significantly during the time of the potential rise in interest rates, and the demand for houses has maintained quite a rhythm.
The steady demand could be due to the fact that a rise in interest rates causes the prices of the houses to come down, thereby prompting people to invest in real estate. In a parallel scenario, these same reduced prices deter the sellers from matching the demand by selling property.
As such, the supply in the current environment has tanked while the demand for property is still prevalent. Read how Supply in Singapore is in its lowest in 19 years!
While it seems like the continued demand for property will, in turn, lead to an increase in the prices of houses, the very low supply of real estate investment opportunities shows that the increase in interest rate might actually be able to control the ever-increasing prices of Singapore real estate.
Overall, the strong demand for real estate makes this sector a great channel for investment as it has been able to stand the test of time in terms of continued demand.
The increasing interest rate will likely affect the prices and rents of houses in Singapore. While looking at the demand, it might seem like the prices won’t come down much, but the supply for real estate is down in the dumps in the current environment. And this slow supply will take some time to replenish.
On the other hand, the rent for houses has increased due to slow work in the real estate market.
One major factor for the slow supply of houses is the fact that global inflation has led to a significant increase in the cost of construction of a house. The costs of materials and hiring labour for tasks have increased as well.
Piccadilly recently sold 77% of its units for $1250 over the launch weekend, which shows that demand is still going strong. However, the sluggish supply of houses can put a leash on the overall structure of the real estate market.