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How has the Singapore Real Estate Market Evolved over the years?

Author: Jessica Lim

10th October 2020

content marketing singapore

Singapore has transformed tremendously in the last 55 years from a developing port city to a prosperous first world metropolis. The real estate industry has played a pivotal role in this successful transformation by constantly evolving and creating a sustainable living environment ranked among the best in the world.

To accomplish such a feat, the Ministry of National Development (MND) was established in 1959, with the purpose of planning and managing land use. The establishment aimed to develop world-class infrastructure, create a vibrant and sustainable living environment as well as to build rooted and cohesive communities. This has guided the subsequent developments that have contributed to the success of the real estate industry.

Here, we will look at some key developmental milestones that have contributed to the success of this thriving industry.

1960 – The Housing Development Board (HDB) was formed to manage the development of public housing and ease the severe housing shortage. HDB is the national public housing authority of Singapore and houses over 80% of Singapore’s resident population. HDB is the successor of the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT).

1966 – The Home Ownership Scheme was introduced to assist people in buying their flats on 99-year leases.

1974 – The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) was incorporated with the main aim of ensuring that resources are best utilized to maintain a balance between economic growth, a good quality of life, and built environment.

1990 – The National Parks Board (NParks) was established to manage and improve the national parks in Singapore which encompasses 350 parks and 4 nature reserves. NParks is closely interlinked with the history of tree-planting in Singapore and played a pivotal role in transforming Singapore

1999 – The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) was formed with the key purpose of progressing and managing Singapore’s building and construction industry. The aim of the BCA is to develop a technologically advanced construction industry to serve Singapore’s economic needs and to guarantee safe buildings and infrastructure.

2010 – The Council of Estate Agencies (CEA) was established to regulate the real estate industry with aims to raise the standard of professionalism of the industry and to protect consumer’s interest. CEA is also empowered to administer relevant regulatory framework.


The Singapore real estate industry has seen many developments that propelled Singapore to be the thriving city state it is today. The different boards established worked hand in hand to ensure that policies and regulations are in place to maintain sustainability of the living environment while promoting innovation. In an ever-changing word, constant development is required to stay relevant. With these statutory boards established, Singaporeans can be assured that important policies and regulations will be updated to remain relevant and their future in this country will be safeguarded.

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