Singapore's private home sales jump 30% in December

PHOTO: Singapore's private home sales jump 30% in December

SINGAPORE - Singapore's private home sales jumped nearly 30 per cent in December from the previous month, a surge that came just before the government took new measures to dampen demand in the residential market.

Developers sold 1,410 housing units last month excluding executive condominiums, up from 1,087 units in November, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.

On Friday, Singapore's government unveiled sweeping measures to cool the housing market, such as raising stamp duties for buyers and limiting the amount of loans they can take. The steps caused property and banking stocks such as CapitaLand Ltd and United Overseas Bank Ltd to slide.

Singapore's residential prices have soared to record highs due to low interest rates and huge demand from real estate speculators. In the fourth quarter, private home prices rose 1.8 per cent from the previous three months, the largest quarterly jump last year.