Singapore home sales slows in January amid gov’t curbs on lending

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Singapore, China (4E) – Home sales in Singapore’s fell in January, the slowest start to the year in five years, as fewer projects were sold by developers after government efforts to curb the property market reduced demand.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) said there were just 565 new private homes that were sold by developers in January, higher than the four-year low of 259 units posted in December. However, January’s figure was significantly lower than the 2,028 units sold in the month in 2013.

The report also showed the number of units sold is the lowest for the month of January since 2009, when 108 units were sold.

The residential property market in Singapore has cooled since the middle 2013, after authorities took action to limit the amount of money people can borrow.

New loan measures introduced by the government in June widened a campaign that began in 2009 aimed to contain speculation in the island-state. The country’s property market is stabilizing and faces lower risk of a credit bubble that could put the Southeast Asian nation’s banking system into a state of crisis, according to a central bank report on Jan. 15.

In the final quarter of 2013, private home prices dropped 0.9 percent from the previous three months. Last year, developers in Singapore sold around 15,000 new homes, slipping 30 percent from 2012.

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