Singapore Residential Sales Rose 5.4% in May After April Slump

Singapore’s home sales rose 5.4 percent in May as developers marketed new projects, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Home sales rose to 1,455 units last month from 1,380 units in April, the authority said. Sales dropped 51 percent in April as developers marketed fewer projects while residential prices posted the smallest gain in three quarters.

The island-state’s private residential property price index rose 0.6 percent in the three months ended March, according to separate data issued in April by URA. Government measures in January, the seventh round of curbs in about four years, included an increase in stamp duties for homebuyers by 5 percentage points to 7 percentage points.

Corals At Keppel Bay developed by Keppel Bay Pte. sold 132 units of 160 marketed last month, while Stratum in the city’s east sold 269 of 380 units marketed, according to the data.

Singapore plans to release three residential sites and two commercial & residential sites for sale in June, the Authority said separately on its website today. The five sites together can yield about 3,600 residential units, it said.

The curbs in January also included higher taxes on permanent residents when they buy their first home, and for Singaporeans starting with their second purchase.

Singapore also plans to raise taxes for luxury homeowners and residential properties that are rented out. The higher tax will apply to the top 1 percent of homeowners who live in their own residences, or 12,000 properties, Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in his budget speech on Feb. 25.

The government tightened loan-to-value limits for buyers seeking a second mortgage, referring to the amount they are allowed to borrow relative to the value of their properties. The cash down-payment will rise to 25 percent from 10 percent starting from the second loan, it said.

Singapore has been attempting to rein in prices since 2009, when the government barred interest-only loans for some housing projects and stopped allowing developers to absorb interest payments for apartments still being built.

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