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REFILE-UPDATE 1-Singapore private home sales fall 30 pct in October
November 16, 2015 / 7:08 AM / 2 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 1-Singapore private home sales fall 30 pct in October

(Refiles to fix story link in last paragraph)

* Developers sell 546 units in Oct vs 785 a year ago

* Govt cooling measures hurt demand

SINGAPORE, Nov 16 (Reuters) - Sales of private homes by developers in Singapore fell 30 percent in October from a year earlier, as a series of existing property-cooling measures kept enthusiasm low in the island's housing sector.

Data compiled by the Urban Redevelopment Authority showed developers sold 546 units last month, compared with 785 units in October 2014.

Two new condominium launches in October pulled the figure 60 percent higher than the 341 units sold in September, when sales had nearly halved compared with the same month in 2014.

Singapore introduced higher stamp duties and tighter lending since 2009 to cool homes prices.

"Weak market still prevails, it could mainly be due to the ongoing economic uncertainties that are now looming, apart from just the existing property cooling measures," said Alice Tan, head of Singapore research at consultancy Knight Frank.

She expects developers to sell 6,500-6,800 private home units in 2015, compared with about 7,300 last year.

The FTSE ST Real Estate Index was down 0.6 percent, while the broader market fell 1.2 percent in afternoon trade.

Analysts say a U.S. interest rate hike is one factor that could prompt the government to review measures, which have particularly hit speculative and foreign demand.

Prices of Singapore's private homes fell for the eighth straight quarter to 4-1/2-year lows in the third quarter. (Reporting By Aradhana Aravindan; Editing by Kavita Chandran)

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