Singapore New Home Sales Halved in December Amid Property Curbs

  • December sales of 759 units compare with 384 in prior month
  • Mortgage curbs have cooled demand in Singapore property market

Singapore home sales fell 49 percent in December from the previous month, as tighter mortgage curbs cooled demand in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market.

Developers sold 384 units last month compared with 759 units in November, according to data released Friday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The preliminary annual tally of about 7,528 compares with the sale of 7,316 units in 2014, the data showed. While the annual number rose slightly compared with last year, it’s still half the clip recorded in 2013. 

Singapore home prices dropped for a ninth quarter, posting the longest losing streak in 17 years, as tighter mortgage curbs cooled demand. An index tracking private residential prices fell 0.5 percent in the three months ended Dec. 31 from the previous quarter, according to preliminary data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Jan. 4. That took the annual decline to 3.7 percent, almost matching the 4 percent drop in 2014, which was the first year-on-year slide since 2008.

Monthly sales data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority may be revised and final sales for 2015 will be released later this month.

The city-state’s government began introducing residential property curbs in 2009 as low interest rates and demand from foreign buyers raised concerns that the market was overheating. They have included a cap on debt repayment costs at 60 percent of a borrower’s monthly income, higher stamp duties on home purchases and an increase in real estate taxes.

Singapore was ranked the second-most expensive city to buy a luxury home after Hong Kong in the region, according to a 2015 Knight Frank wealth report.

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