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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Tuesday, April 24, 2018

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Singapore Home Prices Swing Higher

Property prices rise 0.4%

Share on Facebook July 3, 2012, Reporter : Chun Han Wong , Reader : 460

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SINGAPORE—Prices of private homes in Singapore swung higher to a record in the second quarter, reversing a short-lived decline in the previous three months amid resilient demand in the city-state's property market.

Prices of private residential properties rose 0.4% quarter-to-quarter in the April-June period after easing 0.1% in the first quarter, according to flash estimates issued Monday by the Urban Redevelopment Authority. The decline in the January-March period was the first price drop since the second quarter of 2009.

The data reflect the strong transaction volume this year—sales of new private homes in the January-May period jumped nearly 54% from the same period last year to 10,880 units.

"The high liquidity and favorable interest-rate environment remain supportive of home-buying demand," said Colliers International property analyst Chia Siew Chuin.

Private-housing prices in the city-state's core central region rose 0.6% in the second quarter, compared with a 0.6% fall in the January-April period. In the rest of the central region, prices were flat after falling 0.6% in the previous three months.

Prices outside the central region grew slower in the second quarter, rising 0.4% quarter-to-quarter compared with a 1.1% gain in the previous three months.

The authority's data mirror estimates from the Housing and Development Board, which showed prices of resold public housing rising 1.3% quarter-to-quarter in the April-June period, a reversal of the slowdown in price growth in the previous two quarters.

The estimates are based on transaction prices compiled in the first 10 weeks of the quarter, the authority said. Final figures will be issued in four weeks' time.

Regulators in Singapore—like their counterparts in China and Hong Kong—have tried to rein in property prices that have soared since Singapore's economy rebounded in late 2009, helped by abundant liquidity and low interest rates.

Most recently, in December, Singapore introduced its fifth set of market-cooling measures since September 2009, imposing additional stamp duties on certain buyers, with higher levies on foreigners. Previous steps included rolling out higher down-payment requirements for buyers and increasing land supply for developers.

The government said last month it would continue to open up new land parcels to developers in the second half of this year as demand for private housing "remains strong." This came after its warning in May of possible steps to temper rising mass-market prices, especially for "shoebox" apartments that are smaller than 500 square feet.

"It remains to be seen if the strong sales momentum can be sustained for the second half of 2012," Colliers International's Ms. Chia said. "Increasing price resistance and the onslaught of the upcoming supply of residential land through [government land sales] may work to ease demand for homes in the next six months."

Write to Chun Han Wong at chunhan.wong@dowjones.com

 

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