Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Property market not affected by Hungry Ghost Festival

SINGAPORE: It is that time of the year when many Chinese Singaporeans shy away from undertaking major projects or "risky" activities during the Hungry Ghost Festival.

The festival, which occurs during the 7th month of the lunar calendar, has affected everything from renovation to marriages.

But observers said the property market has not really been affected this year.

Property analysts said new projects are still being pushed out, and the number of people holding back on property purchases during the seventh month has fallen quite drastically in the last 10 to 15 years.

But contractors said the renovation business has been hit for some, by about 20 per cent.

The Singapore Renovation Contractors and Material Suppliers Association said younger clients are not as superstitious, but the older clients have some reservations about starting major renovation works on their properties during the period.

President of the association, Tan Chim Hoon, said the month before the seventh month is the busiest time for renovation contractors, and for many, it is a rush to get the job done as people do not want to move in during the seventh month.

Some home owners even choose to delay major work until after the Hungry Ghost Festival.

Marriages during this period have also been affected. As of last week, the Registry of Marriages saw 550 couples booking an appointment to register their marriages during this period, compared to about 1,800 registrations in July.

Some are also scaling back on leisurely activities.

The Singapore Sports Council said the number of people frequenting public pools has fallen by about 15 per cent, compared to the last two months.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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