By Chun Han Wong
SINGAPORE--Sales of new private homes in Singapore were flat in July from the preceding month, as developers held off from new property launches amid chilly demand.
Private developers sold 484 new residences in July, little changed from 482 units in June, according to data published by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Friday. Transactions had fallen nearly 68% on-month in June after nearly doubling in May, according to revised URA figures.
"Against a backdrop of weak market sentiments, developers generally held back on major new launches," said Chia Siew Chuin, director of research and advisory at property consultancy Colliers International. "Consequently, market activity remained muted."
Developers launched sales for 434 units in July, compared with the 418 new units offered in June.
Sales in July were also little changed from the same month last year, when 482 units were sold. For the first seven months of the year, private developers sold 5,007 homes--roughly 53% lower than the same period a year earlier.
Singapore's private-housing market has endured tepid sales this year, as demand waned under the weight of regulatory curbs on property loans that were introduced in June 2013.
Private-home prices fell for three straight quarters up to end-June, including a 1.1% slide in the April-to-June period from the preceding three months. Prices had appreciated for six straight quarters before the decline.
Rising prices in recent years have generated public discontent and prompted the government to intervene. After the latest drop, private-home prices in Singapore remain about 59% higher than at the end of June 2009, which means regulators are likely to maintain curbs on the housing market for some time, analysts say.
"August could be another slow month for new home sales, as it is the traditional hungry ghost month and home buyers tend to stay away from house-hunting," said Christine Li, head of research at OrangeTee, a local property agency.
Write to Chun Han Wong at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 15, 2014 04:15 ET (08:15 GMT)
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