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Singapore October Home Sales Fall 26% After Surging in September

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore home sales fell 26 percent in October from the previous month, when sales jumped to the highest in more than three years.

Home sales last month slid to 1,948 units from 2,621 units in September, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority today. Singapore home prices reached a record high in the third quarter amid low interest rates, raising concerns of a housing bubble.

The property market may get “bubbly” even with slow growth and the government won’t allow prices to outstrip gains in incomes, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said. The Monetary Authority of Singapore told banks on Oct. 5 to restrict home-loan maturities “to curb continued upward pressure on residential property prices,” in its latest attempt to avert a housing bubble.

Sales last month were boosted by suburban projects. Eco Properties Pte sold 149 units last month in the east, while TG Master Pte sold 309 units of 420 marketed in its Skies Miltonia project in the north, the data showed.

Singapore has been attempting to rein in prices since 2009, when the government barred interest-only loans for some housing projects and stopped allowing developers to absorb interest payments for apartments still being built.

The government in December last year imposed an additional stamp duty on foreigners and corporations buying property, and additional levies on permanent residents buying a second home and citizens purchasing a third residential property.

Private home sales next year may drop to 16,000 units from 22,000 units this year, said David Neubronner, the head of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Singapore residential business.

The government in September 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.

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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