SINGAPORE (Aug  27): On July 5, when the government unveiled its latest round of property cooling measures, I pretty much abandoned any hope of buying another physical property in Singapore. Property ownership is one of the best ways to ride Singapore’s continued growth. But with transaction costs for buying and selling a home here now much higher than in many other cities in the world, it looks like I will have to find another way to gain exposure to this vaunted asset class.

Property developer stocks seem the obvious alternative, especially since they all took a beating after the most recent round of cooling measures. However, private property development can create negative externalities for society, such as the potential for home prices to rise faster than incomes, and for homeowners to be saddled with crushing mortgage debt. That makes the whole industry a target for onerous government regulation.

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