Private home sales in Singapore soared to the highest in 16 months in July as buyers rushed to snap up properties hours before curbs aimed at quelling speculation came into effect.
Developers sold 1,724 units last month, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement. That’s more than double the 654 units sold in June and the highest since March 2017.
The government took
renewed steps last month to cool Singapore’s property market after home prices posted a second-straight quarter of strong gains, fueled by aggressive land bids from developers and so-called en-bloc transactions, which is where a group of owners band together to sell entire apartment buildings. Changes to additional buyer’s stamp duty and loan-to-value limits were announced on July 5 and came into force at midnight.
“The strong increase was a knee-jerk reaction as buyers rushed to secure deals,” said Justin Tang, the head of Asian research at United First Partners. “With the new measures in place, as well as rising interest rates and trade tensions, people will be more cautious about buying homes. I expect the next months’ numbers to decline.”
The total number of unsold units in July came in at 11,036, versus 11,148 a month earlier, the URA data show.
Local media reported last month that more than 1,000 units were sold at three projects in just a few hours on the evening of July 5 as developers brought forward condominium launches to allow buyers to lock in deals. Older projects, however, are expected to see a continued slowdown in interest, according to Christine Li, a senior director of research at Cushman & Wakefield Plc in Singapore.