Housing costs bother most US firms here

Housing costs bother most US firms here

The cost of housing here has been irritating most US businesses in Singapore although they are quite happy with personal security and a stable government here.

According to the latest survey of senior executives from US companies operating here, 77 per cent of respondents were dissatisfied with housing costs in Singapore, making it the factor they were most displeased with in doing business here.

This mirrors the findings of the survey from the previous year when the exact same proportion of American business executives placed housing costs as the factor they are most unhappy with in Singapore.

Labour and land costs were also factors that featured prominently on their dissatisfaction charts. A total of 48 and 40 per cent of the management of US companies here indicated that they were dissatisfied with office lease costs and the availability of low-cost labour in Singapore respectively, placing them as factors they were most unhappy with after housing costs. The same three concerns topped last year's list.

At the other end of the spectrum, US companies in Singapore feel much safer and have greater confidence in government stability and institutions here this year.

Personal security was the factor that most companies surveyed listed as them being most satisfied with, with 96 per cent of respondents indicating so. Last year, 84 per cent felt the same way.

Some 94 per cent were happy with the stable government and political system, against 89 per cent last year.
Overall, American companies here were satisfied with most of the factors of doing business in Singapore - with the laws and regulations, (lack of) corruption, tax structure, the movement of goods in and out of the country, and the availability of trained personnel all performing well in the survey.

Another area that US companies in Singapore raised concern about is the ability to find adequate space in international schools here, with 38 per cent of respondents in Singapore believing it will be a significant problem in the next 1-3 years.

Despite this, overall expatriate employee satisfaction among the respondents remains high with 97 per cent of them indicating so, 85 per cent of expatriates here wanting to extend their time in Singapore, and 75 per cent of US companies indicating they regularly receive requests for assignments in Singapore from their staff in other locations.

Source: Business Times – 31 August 2012