Singapore home sales hit annual low in November as curbs stem purchases

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2014, 11:43am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 16 December, 2014, 11:43am

Singapore home sales fell to the lowest this year in November as the government's lending curbs stemmed purchases.

Developers sold 412 units last month compared with a revised 785 units in October, according to data from by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. That is the lowest since December, when 259 units were sold.

The government began introducing residential property curbs in 2009 with some of the strictest measures implemented in 2013, including a cap on debt at 60 per cent of a borrower's income, higher stamp duties on home purchases and an increase in real estate taxes.

Home prices declined for a fourth consecutive quarter in the three months to September 30, a separate government report showed in October.

"The softening effect of the measures introduced last year had a wide and deepening effect on buyers' sentiment," said Donald Han, managing director at Chestertons, a real estate broker in the city state. "They are more reluctant now to take positions."

Mortgage loan growth at 6.4 per cent in October was the slowest pace since May 2007, according to data based on Monetary Authority of Singapore figures.

Singapore's housing market may face "fire sales" with mortgage defaults as the government's property curbs hurt home sales and prices, City Developments, the city state's second-biggest developer, said on November 12.

Still, Singapore home prices need to decline even further, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's finance minister said on October 28.