Most residential real estate markets have largely staved off huge price adjustments despite 2Q 2020 posting arguably the ugliest set of economic data in history. Much of this has to do with government actions, from record-low interest rates, loan forbearance through to eviction bans and other supportive measures.
There are some variations across different regions. For the US, a number of these measures expired in July, posing significant uncertainties for investors. Elsewhere, in the UK, prices have continued to climb on the back of stamp duty breaks and pent-up demand. Closer to home in Singapore, home prices have moderated slightly.
What caught our eyes this week?
The worst for US renters and apartment owners is yet to come
Residential tenants in the US have kept up with rental obligations for the most part, thanks to the US$ 2 trillion in emergency government relief to cushion the economic blow of the pandemic. But as unemployment benefits expire and the lifting of eviction bans looms nearer, uncertainties over continued rental payments are now swirling.
UK house prices seen growing as much as 3% for rest of 2020
On the back of a sales-tax break and resurgent demand following the coronavirus lockdown, UK house prices are on track to grow by as much as 3 per cent for the rest of this year. According to a recent research report from Zoopla, prices grew 2.7 per cent in June from a year earlier; the fastest pace in nearly two years. But despite the improved outlook for prices, Zoopla expects home sales to be down 15 per cent from 2019 levels - although this is still considered an improvement from an earlier outlook.
Perth, Gold Coast outpace Sydney's luxury homes
Knight Frank’s Prime Global Index, an unweighted average of the change in prime residential prices across 45 cities, revealed Perth's luxury homes to be amongst the top gainers during the second quarter, just behind Cape town and Vancouver. This was a sharp rebound from a quarter earlier when values fell 0.3 per cent. Overall, the index rose by just 0.9 per cent over the year to June, the lowest growth rate since the 2009 global financial crisis.
Property market remains stable; No need to adjust existing cooling measures, says MAS
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has no plans to adjust existing cooling measures for the residential sector, even as Singapore's economy is experiencing its most severe downturn since Independence. The prudential measures implemented over the last decade have kept prices aligned with fundamentals, reducing the sector's vulnerability to impact from the pandemic.
Why tech-savvy millennials actually prefer working in the office
In a survey across five Asia-Pacific countries, two-thirds of employees under 35 years old said they missed the office, compared to their older counterparts. In particular, these millennials cited the social aspect of the office as the top reason for their response. This is consistent and reflective of how millennials view social engagement at work as being key to their happiness.
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