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- December 1, 2015: Vol. 7, Number 11

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The Lion City: How long will weakness in Singapore’s residential market last?

by Alex Frew McMillan

The city state’s name, Singapura, literally translates to “Lion City” from Malay and originally from Sanskrit — despite the fact lions never roamed the Malay peninsula. The big cat of legend spied wandering the beaches by the Kingdom of Singapura’s mythical “founder”, Sang Nila Utama, was more than likely a Malayan tiger.

The big cat’s cry has been a whimper of late. The Republic of Singapore’s economy, and particularly its property market, has been one of the worst performers in Asia and, indeed, the entire world. With GDP growth forecast to drop to 2.3 percent next year, according to Nomura, it has the worst outlook among major Asian economies, bar permanently-becalmed Japan.

Prospects for real estate are even worse. With a glut of supply, a government determined to tamp down demand, and uncertain consumer confidence, no one is willing to call a turn in the market.

“Looming supply, high vacancy rates and falling rental income have aggravate

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