According to figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), private home sales in Singapore plunged by 64 percent in August, the least in six months.
Developers sold only 616 units last month compared to 1,724 units in July and 1,246 units in August last year.
The government introduced another round of cooling measures on 6 July, increasing the Additional Buyers Stamp Duty by 5 percent for buyers of second and third properties while foreigners are slapped with an additional stamp duty of 20 percent.
In an interview with Bloomberg, Nicholas Mak, executive director, research and consultancy at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore said:
“August sales are low but that was to be expected because buyers rushed in to buy ahead of the curbs in July. That, coupled with the Hungry Ghost festival, acted as a double whammy for the month.”
An index tracking private residential prices jumped 3.4 percent in the three months ended June 30, according to URA data. That built on a 3.9 percent gain in the first quarter, which was the biggest increase since the second quarter of 2010.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued a statement then explaining the need for the cooling measures:
“After declining gradually for close to 4 years, private residential prices began rising in 3Q2017. Prices have increased sharply by 9.1% over the past year. Demand for private residential property has also seen a strong recovery, as transaction volumes continue to rise. The sharp increase in prices, if left unchecked, could run ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply.”