Singapore property sales fall 65% in Feb.
AFPSINGAPORE -- New private home sales in Singapore plunged 65 percent in February from a month before as market cooling measures and the Lunar New Year holidays kept buyers away, official data showed Friday.
March 16, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Only 708 private homes were sold in February, down from 2,016 units in January, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).
“In line with expectations, private residential market activity was subdued in February, following the market cooling measures ... and the Lunar New Year festive period,” said Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at Colliers International.
Ong Teck Hui, national director for research and consultancy at Jones Lang LaSalle, said the measures imposed in January 2013 to avert a bubble “made it more difficult for developers to assess the market in order to set prices and gauge demand.”
But he said the February home sales numbers were “likely to be one-off and not indicative of a particular trend.”
In the latest move to tamp down the red-hot property market, Singpore's government in January made it costlier for foreigners to buy property by raising stamp duties, and sharply increased minimum cash downpayments for individuals applying for loans for second or subsequent homes to 25 percent from 10 percent.
The latest measures were imposed after property prices continued to rise despite an economic slowdown that saw the city-state narrowly avoiding a technical recession last year.
The trade-reliant economy grew just 1.3 percent in 2012, down from 5.2 percent in 2011, with 2013 expansion forecast at 1-3 percent.