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Singapore home-price growth slows as curbs’ effects linger

(PHOTO: ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

By Faris Mokhtar

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore private home prices rose just 0.5% in the final quarter of 2019, with the slowdown reflecting the lingering impact of government curbs more than a year after they were imposed.

The rise was slightly higher than the preliminary estimate of a 0.3% gain, data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority released Thursday showed, and compared with a 1.3% expansion in the previous quarter. For all of 2019, apartment prices on the island increased 2.7%, well below a jump of 7.9% in 2018.

Curbs introduced in mid-2018 have put a dent in home sales and prices in the past year. Another conundrum borne out of the curbs is a supply glut of around 32,000 units -- some completed, others under construction -- and slower price growth could make it hard to clear the backlog.

Property analysts and developers estimate that it could take up to four years to clear the overhang.

Vacancy rates of completed private home units fell to 5.5% at the end of 2019, from 6.1% in the previous quarter; there were 32,272 unsold private home units.

Office space prices fell 0.5% in the fourth quarter while rentals dropped by 3.2%. Retail space prices, meanwhile, rose 1.8% in the final quarter of last year, while retail rents rose 2.3%.


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