Singapore's Oct private home sales drop 26%

PHOTO: Singapore's Oct private home sales drop 26%

SINGAPORE - Private home sales in Singapore in October dropped 26 per cent from the previous month, as some developers held back launches and investors stayed on the sidelines in the wake of fresh property cooling measures, official data showed on Thursday.

Developers sold 1,948 residential units last month excluding executive condominiums, a category of apartments reserved mainly for Singaporeans, the lowest number since June and down from 2,621 in September, according to data form the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

However, October's sales were still 40 per cent higher than a year ago due to buoyant demand in the mass market, underscoring government concerns of rising home prices in the tiny city-state.

To cool its property market, Singapore's government has introduced a string a measures, the latest being a move in October to cap the maximum tenure for all new residential property loans at 35 years, with loans exceeding 30 years facing significantly tighter loan-to-value limits.