Singapore’s Private Home Prices Climb to Record on Sales

Singapore home prices climbed to a record in the fourth quarter after developers sold more homes, a government report showed.

The island state’s private residential property price index rose 1.8 percent to 211.90 points in the three months ended Dec. 31, according to preliminary estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority today. The index advanced 0.6 percent in the previous quarter, which was also a record. Prices rose 2.8 percent in the year, compared with a 5.9 percent gain in 2011, data from the authority showed.

Prices of non-landed private residential properties increased 0.8 percent in prime districts in the quarter, the data showed. In suburban areas, prices climbed 3.4 percent.

The benchmark property index, which tracks 40 developers, gained 1 percent to 791.48 at the close of trading in Singapore, the biggest advance since Dec. 7. CapitaLand Ltd., Southeast Asia’s biggest developer, rose 1.6 percent to S$3.76, while City Developments Ltd., Singapore’s second-largest developer, added 0.9 percent to S$12.99.

“Private property prices saw a rebound with the price increase in the fourth quarter contributing to more than 50 percent for the entire year,” Mohamed Ismail, chief executive officer of PropNex Realty, said in an e-mailed statement. “It is expected that the trend will continue and prices will further increase resulting in an overall 4 percent to 5 percent growth in the private property price index in 2013.”

Land Sales

Singapore is seeking to sell land to add as many as 14,000 new homes in the first half of 2013 as the government moves to prevent excessive gains in home prices. The government will sell 12 private residential sites in the first half that could yield 6,900 apartments, and may sell a further 19 sites where developers could build 7,100 units, the Ministry of National Development said in a statement on Dec. 14.

Singapore in 2009 barred interest-only loans for some housing projects and stopped allowing developers to absorb interest payments for apartments still being built. Foreigners and corporate entities have to pay an additional 10 percent stamp duty following measures introduced in December.

The extra levy is 3 percent for permanent residents purchasing a second home and for citizens buying their third residential property. The government earlier imposed a 1 percent duty on the first S$180,000 ($147,000) of the property price, 2 percent on the next S$180,000 and 3 percent for the remainder.

Home sales in November fell 44 percent from October, the lowest in 11 months, as developers slowed project sales ahead of the holiday season. Sales in November slid to 1,087 units from 1,948 units in October, according to data released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Dec. 17.

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