Singapore Home Sales Fall as Mortgage Curbs Cool Housing Demand

  • Developers sold 745 units last month versus 843 in March
  • Government has said it is reluctant to ease the curbs just yet

Residential buildings at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park in Singapore.

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Singapore developers sold 12 percent less homes in April, as tighter mortgage curbs cooled demand in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market.

Developers sold 745 units last month, compared with 843 in March, according to data released Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Singapore home prices have dropped for 10 quarters, posting the longest losing streak in almost two decades, as property curbs damped demand. An index tracking private residential prices fell 0.7 percent in the three months ended March 31 from the previous quarter, according to data from the URA.

The city-state’s government has signaled it is reluctant to lift curbs it began rolling out in 2009 as low interest rates and demand from foreign buyers raised concerns that the market was overheating. Those curbs have included a cap on debt repayment costs at 60 percent of a borrower’s monthly income, and higher stamp duties on home purchases.

The government wants to avoid a renewed overheating in the market. In his budget speech in February, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said it was “premature” to relax the curbs.

Singapore was ranked the most expensive city in Asia to buy a luxury home after Hong Kong in a 2016 wealth report by estate agents Knight Frank LLP.

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