Singapore July home sales steady as curbs damp demand

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 August, 2014, 5:21am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 August, 2014, 5:35am

Singapore's home sales were little changed last month as developers offered fewer projects amid cooling demand following a slew of property measures.

Developers sold 484 units compared with 482 in June, according to data released on Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

Sales dropped 68 per cent in June from May.

The government began introducing housing market curbs in 2009 with some of the strictest measures implemented last year, 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 in the city state fell for a third consecutive quarter in the three months to June, the longest losing streak in five years, the URA said last month.

"There were barely any suburban projects launched as developers seem to be waiting to test demand," said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants.

Among developers that began offering projects was Bayfront Ventures, which sold 89 of 150 units at its City Gate project near the city centre, according to the URA.

JU-I Properties started selling its condominium project with 11 out of 120 units sold, the data showed.

Under the current new loan framework, mortgages should not push a borrower's total debt-servicing ratio above 60 per cent and those that did would be considered imprudent, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in June last year.

The central bank said last month that it was too early to ease property restrictions.

Government policy has cut the growth in outstanding mortgage loans to 7.5 per cent in June, almost the slowest monthly pace since June 2007, data showed.

Singapore was the most expensive city to buy a luxury home in Asia after Hong Kong, property broker Knight Frank said in an annual wealth report.