Singapore home sales rebound, defying property cooling measures

·1-min read
Purchases of new private homes in Singapore rose to 654 units in March. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgar Su)
Purchases of new private home in Singapore rose to 654 units in March. (PHOTO: REUTERS/Edgar Su)

By Faris Mokhtar

(Bloomberg) — Singapore home sales rebounded last month, signalling that demand is holding up even as the city-state seeks to cool a residential property boom.

Purchases of new private apartments climbed to 654 units in March, Urban Redevelopment Authority figures showed Monday. That’s about 21% higher than the 542 units sold in the previous month.

The figures suggest there is still appetite for homes in the city-state, especially among dwellers looking to upgrade from public to private units, after sales were subdued in the last couple of months. Authorities introduced cooling measures in December to address a lack of affordability along with the risk that households may struggle to pay their mortgages at higher rates.

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Concerns over rising interest rates may push buyers to the market, said Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie. Singapore’s central bank last week further tightened its monetary settings as it seeks to fight cost pressures that threaten the recovery from the pandemic.

“Some on-the-fence buyers plan to lock in home loans before they climb higher as a steep hike in borrowing rates may eventually price some upgraders out of the market,” Sun said.

Home price growth slowed last quarter, suggesting the market was cooling on the back of the curbs, which came after a surge in prices last year.

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