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Singapore home prices rise again, defying sales slowdown

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Singapore home prices rose for a fourth straight quarter as the country’s property valuations continue to defy a significant slowdown in sales.

Prices for private residences climbed 1.1% from the previous three months, according to preliminary figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) on Monday. That’s only slightly slower than a 1.4% rise in the first quarter.

The increase reflects continued local spending power despite a broader slowdown in sales in a market that boomed through the pandemic. That’s made the financial hub the third-most expensive city in the world to buy private housing, according to an annual report recently published by Swiss wealth manager Julius Baer Group Ltd.

That surge prompted authorities to introduce multiple curbs on the market, including a 60% stamp duty on foreign purchases of residential assets. The increased levies and high interest rates have cooled demand, with home sales falling for a second month in May.

“There is still demand for housing, although buyers are being selective,” said Ken Foong, a real estate analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. Property may be favoured as an inflation hedge, he added.

Singapore’s ruling party is grappling with voter concerns about housing affordability, and the government has ramped up the supply of private residential homes to the highest in more than a decade. But developers have chafed at the curbs and increased supply, with residential land plots receiving few or under-priced bids recently, and one getting none at all — the first time that has occurred in over two decades.

Home values remain eye-watering. The median price for a private condominium or apartment exceeded S$1.7 million (RM5.92 million) in June, according to the latest information from a URA database, up more than 30% from four years ago. In separate data released Monday, the second-hand market for cheaper public housing, where the bulk of locals live, saw its 17th consecutive quarter of price increases.

Final changes in the property price index for the second quarter will be published on July 26.

Source: Bloomberg

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