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Singapore Home Sales Fell 52% in September Following Loan Curbs

Singapore’s home sales fell 52 percent in September from a year ago, signaling that the government’s efforts to cool its property market are working.

Home sales fell to 1,246 units last month compared with 2,621 in September 2012, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released today. From the previous month, sales increased 65 percent from a revised 756 units sold in August as developers marketed more projects, the data showed.

Record home prices amid low interest rates raised concerns of a housing bubble and prompted the government to widen a campaign that started in 2009 to curb speculation in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market. Singapore unveiled new rules in June governing how financial institutions grant property loans to individuals, in addition to previous curbs including new taxes and higher down-payments.

“The total debt-servicing ratio measures is really biting into the market now,” said David Neubronner, national director of residential project sales in Singapore at broker Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. “I expect sales to be sub-1,000 units a month over the next three months.”

Home prices in the island-state rose at the slowest pace in six quarters in the three months ended Sept. 30.

The island-state’s private residential property price index rose 0.4 percent to a record 216.2 points in the three months ended Sept. 30, after climbing 1 percent in the second quarter, according to preliminary figures released by the authority on Oct. 1. That was the smallest gain since the first quarter of 2012, when the index dropped 0.1 percent.

Among the developers that began sales of their projects was United Venture Development (Thomson) Pte, which sold 264 units of 320 marketed at its “Thomson Three” project last month, the data showed. Sky Vue, offered by Allamanda Residential Development Pte, sold 433 of 505 units offered.

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