Technology has made inroads in industries around the world as diverse as commerce, education, finance, logistics, and transport. Even governments have embraced it, with the Obama administration recruiting top technology talent from the likes of Google and Facebook to reboot the way government works. Closer to home, the development of an app by the Municipal Services Office under the Singapore government’s Ministry of National Development for the public to give feedback on municipal issues.
While governments are wetting their feet in technology, property website 99.co has published findings that will apprise property buyers and sellers with concerns that the political affiliation of their constituencies — in the aftermath of polling day today in the Singapore General Elections when the dust settles and votes are counted — would influence realty value.
A constituency search tool
At the same time, the Singapore-based website announced the launch of a constituency search tool, allowing users to identify the constituency that a piece of property belongs to, together with the political parties and members contesting it.
The constituency search tool, after the elections are over, will help users know who the elected representatives (termed Members of Parliament) of the area are. 99.co believes the information would be useful if users want to find out who to go to to address municipal or local issues.
While the tool makes for a nifty embellishment to the site, its real value is in allowing 99.co to extract and plot property transaction prices by constituency, from data published by government agencies Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) and Housing Development Board (HDB).
Does political affiliation of ward affect property value?
With the data from URA, HDB and the constituency search tool, the one-year-old website analysed the pricing trends of the various constituencies over time. 99.co concluded that the location of a piece of realty, whether in a constituency under the jurisdiction of the ruling party — the People’s Action Party (PAP) — or an opposition party, has no effect on its value.
Location with regard to other factors such as proximity to major developments and key infrastructure, however, will drive the rate of appreciation of property.
What the numbers say
Plotting graphs from HDB data, 99.co concluded that public housing performed largely uniformly regardless of ward, with resale prices in almost all wards appreciating between 80 per cent and 100 per cent.
Ku Swee Yong, CEO of Century 21 Singapore, a franchise of the global residential real estate sales organisation Century 21, said, “The data from 99.co clearly indicates that there is no difference in the valuations of residences between neighbourhoods. This likely indicates that common areas such as pavements, drainages and landscaping are being managed to similar standards. Otherwise, over two to three years, differences will show and valuations in badly managed districts would drop.”
This is unlike the trends observed in the private housing sector, whose appreciation of property prices is less consistent across wards, taking place in the range of 50 per cent to 150 per cent.
According to the report, the average transaction price for private housing in Aljunied GRC (currently held by the opposition Workers’ Party) and Potong Pasir SMC (where opposition stalwart Chiam See Tong served as Member of Parliament for 27 years until 2011 when Sitoh Yih Pin of the ruling People’s Action Party won the seat) have outperformed the national average — more than doubling (over 100 per cent) on average over the last decade.
The report highlighted Ang Mo Kio GRC and West Coast GRC for representation of private property prices in PAP wards. While the average transaction price for private housing in Ang Mo Kio has performed almost as well as Aljunied, prices in West Coast fell under the national average.