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Singapore home prices rise even after additional curbs

Singapore home prices are still inching higher - albeit at the slowest pace in five quarters - even after the government imposed additional property curbs to avoid the risk of a sharp correction that could be destabilising to the city-state’s economy.

An index tracking private residential prices increased 0.5% in Q3 compared to a 3.4% advance in Q2, according to a flash estimate from the Urban Redevelopment Authority. That adds to a 9.1% gain in the year through to June 2018.

Singapore took renewed steps in July to cool the island’s property market after a steep rise in home prices in the first six months. The rush of transactions was fuelled 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.

Under the new rules, individuals taking out their first housing loan face stricter borrowing limits, meaning they have to put down a larger deposit. For foreign purchasers of residential property, the additional buyer’s stamp duty was increased from 15% to 20%, while for Singapore citizens, the extra charges only apply to the purchase of a second home.

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