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Singapore July Home Sales Little Changed as Curbs Damp Demand

Aug. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Singapore’s July home sales were little changed as developers offered fewer projects amid cooling demand following a slew of property measures.

Developers sold 484 units last month compared with 482 units in June, according to data released today by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. Sales declined 68 percent in June from the previous month.

The government began introducing housing market curbs in 2009 with some of the strictest measures implemented in 2013, including a cap on debt at 60 percent of a borrower’s income, higher stamp duties on home purchases and an increase in real estate taxes. Home prices in the Southeast Asian city slid for a third consecutive quarter in the three months to June, the longest losing streak in five years, the URA said last month.

“There were barely any suburban projects launched as developers seem to be waiting to test demand,” said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore.

Among developers that began offering projects was Bayfront Ventures Pte, which sold 89 of 150 units at its City Gate project near the city center, according to the URA. JU-I Properties Pte started selling its condominium project with 11 out of 120 units sold, the data showed.

Under the current new loan framework, mortgages shouldn’t push a borrower’s total debt-servicing ratio above 60 percent and those that do will be considered imprudent, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in June 2013.

The central bank said last month that it was too early to ease property restrictions.

Government policy has cut the growth in outstanding mortgage loans to 7.5 percent in June, almost the slowest monthly pace since June 2007, data compiled by Bloomberg based on MAS figures show.

Singapore was the most expensive city to buy a luxury home in Asia after Hong Kong, property broker Knight Frank LLP said in an annual wealth report.

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

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

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