Private homes in River Valley/Orchard area of Singapore. According to PropertyGuru’s CFO, returning Singaporeans and expats have boosted rental demand in Singapore.
Lorin Ishak | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Singapore based online property portal PropertyGuru reported a net loss of S$7.4 million ($5.3 million) for the quarter ended Sept. 30 – down from last quarter’s net profit of $3.8 million.
But that was still lower than a net loss of S$9.6 million in the same period a year ago, and third-quarter revenue rose 47% year-on-year.
Meanwhile, adjusted EBITDA for the third quarter improved to a positive SG$5.7 million from an adjusted EBITDA loss of SG$1.5 million in the same period a year ago. EBITDA is a measure of profitability that shows earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.
“Our third quarter results show that PropertyGuru was able to deliver strong business results even as some of our core markets began to face headwinds from the challenging economic conditions being experienced around the world,” said Hari Krishnan, CEO Director and Managing Director of PropertyGuru Group.
On Monday night’s earnings call, Krishnan cited challenging conditions such as rising taxes and stamp duty in Singapore. In Vietnam, credit to buy homes is now harder to access, he said.
The online portal provides information on markets in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Even with short-term macro headwinds, we remain bullish on the long-term outlook for PropertyGuru,” said Joe Dische, group finance director.
In an interview with CNBC “Squawk Box Asia” on Tuesday, Dische pointed to trends in the property markets in Malaysia and Singapore.
“We saw good activity in Malaysia. The government supports lower-end and affordable housing. There were some measures taken before the recent election to have some stamp duty concessions… for first time buyers. So we definitely see some action being taken to support the market,” he said.
Finance Minister Zafrul Aziz said in a budget speech to parliament in early October that the country would increase the stamp duty exemption to 75% from 50% on first home purchases.
He said returning Singaporeans and expatriates, as well as delays in public housing construction and renovation work during the earlier stages of the pandemic, had boosted rental demand in Singapore.
Vietnam, on the other hand, is cracking down on speculative activity, making it difficult for people to access credit, Dyche said.
“It does have a knock-on effect on the average person trying to buy a property. But I think there is some action against that speculation that is driving inflation in those markets. As affordability falls, some people will wait and see and move into the rental market, driving up prices and demand,” he added.
In October, the company made its first post-IPO acquisition, Singapore-based home services technology company Sendhelper. PropertyGuru listed on the New York Stock Exchange in March.
PropertyGuru’s shares fell 39% after its listing.