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Hong Kong, Singapore Luxury Home Prices Fall on Curbs, JLL Says

Hong Kong and Singapore are the two major Asian cities that recorded declines in luxury home prices in the first quarter on government measures to prevent housing bubbles, according to Jones Lang LaSalle Inc.

Prices in Hong Kong, the world’s most-expensive place to buy an apartment, fell 1.1 percent in the first quarter from the previous three months, while they declined 0.6 percent in Singapore, the Chicago-based realtor said in an e-mailed statement.

Asian governments from Singapore to China are imposing measures such as purchase restrictions and additional transaction taxes in an effort to counter monetary easings by central banks in the U.S. and Europe that have kept borrowing costs low and the increased buying power of an expanding middle class in the region.

“Policy restrictions in some markets will continue to limit price growth for the rest of the year,” Jane Murray, head of Asia-Pacific research at Jones Lang LaSalle, said in the statement.

Luxury home prices in Jakarta rose 8.7 percent during the quarter, the most among the nine cities surveyed by Jones Lang LaSalle. Kuala Lumpur was second with a gain of 6 percent, while Beijing and Shanghai advanced 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent respectively, the survey showed.

Prices in Hong Kong will fall as much as 10 percent over the rest of 2013, while Singapore will drop about 5 percent, the broker said. Jakarta will continue to lead growth in the region, it added.

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