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Singapore August Home Sales Decline in ‘Ghost Festival’ Month

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore home sales dropped 27 percent in August from a month ago as homebuyers stayed away from purchases in a month considered inauspicious based on the Chinese Lunar calendar.

The island state’s private residential property sales fell to 1,421 units from 1,946 apartments in July, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority today.

“Sales last month declined because the Ghost Festival in the seventh month of the Chinese lunar calendar is considered an unlucky time to buy according to Chinese tradition,” said Nicholas Mak, Singapore-based executive director at SLP International Property Consultants, a real estate consulting company. “Sales should rebound when we get data next month.”

Singapore is trying to rein in property prices in a city that’s about half the size of Los Angeles, where residential prices surged to a record at the end of 2011. The government earlier this month said it plans to cap the number of homes that can be developed in suburban projects as it seeks to curb the increasing trend of so-called shoebox apartments.

One Dusun Residences sold 153 homes of the 154 available, while The Parc Olympia development on Flora Drive with 110 homes, and V on Shenton on the central business district, which sold 65 apartments, were among the most popular sites, the data showed.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties increased by 0.6 percent in the Core Central Region in the quarter ended June compared with a decrease of 0.6 percent in the three months to March 31, a separate government report showed. Prices in Outside Central Region climbed at a slower pace of 0.4 percent in the quarter, compared with a gain of 1.1 percent in the previous quarter.

To contact the reporter on this story: Pooja Thakur in Singapore at pthakur@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at apapuc1@bloomberg.net

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