Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said Monday that he will not hesitate to intervene in the shoebox unit market if there are any signs that unsustainable investor demand for the units.
Responding to a question in posted to him in Parliament by Jurong GRC Member of Parliament (MP) Ang Wei Neng, who had asked if the Ministry of National Development (MND) keeps track of the profiles of buyers of shoebox apartments.
Mr Khaw said it was hard for him to intervene at present as the shoebox unit market was "untested", and that he did not want to think he knew "better than developers or investors".
In his reply, Mr Khaw also said MND did not have a good breakdown on the type of people who invested in shoebox units after Mr Ang asked how many buyers of shoebox apartments were HDB occupants, and whether the buyers were staying in HDB flats larger than 50 square metres.
However, these people were mostly Singaporeans with HDB addresses and who did not plan to stay in shoebox units long because they could not fit into 50 square metres with a family of several people.
They were probably investors who parked their funds in shoebox units, and expected to rent them out, he said.
However, the market is untested as the units are in the heartlands, unlike shoebox units in the central region being rented out with reasonable yield.
Mr Khaw said the minimum he could do is to alert buyers about the high demand and share that information with the investing public and developers.
In his speech, Mr Khaw also said the property market is showing signs of moving towards a more sustainable path.
He was responding to questions on whether the Government's cooling measures had achieved their intended results.
Mr Khaw said private home prices had registered a margine decline in the first three months of this year, after nine consecutive quarters of moderating prices increases.
This was due to the five rounds of cooling measures introduced over the past two years, such as measures targeting foreign-investment demand.