Singapore home sales hit a six-month high, signaling that government-imposed property curbs are having a dwindling impact as the city-state’s rebounding economy fuels demand for houses.

Purchases of new private apartments rose to 1356 units in May, Urban Redevelopment Authority figures showed Wednesday. That’s more than double the transactions of the previous month and the highest since November last year when 1,547 units were sold.

The sharp increase underscores the insatiable demand for homes in Singapore and shows how property cooling measures introduced in December may only provide a temporary fix. While residential sales stabilized at lower levels in the first months of this year, the tiny island state’s property boom has left a record low number of new homes for sale, threatening to undermine government efforts to calm the market.

Sales were driven by the launch of two major projects last month, with demand coming especially from dwellers who have cashed out on their public housing units to upgrade to private apartments, said Christine Sun, senior vice president of research and analytics at OrangeTee & Tie.

“Sentiment typically recovers about two to six months after each round of cooling measures,” Sun said.

There are precedents. New home sales soared 139.2% in November 2018 from the prior month, after measures to calm the market was implemented in July that year, Sun said. Similarly, sales rebounded by 63.6% in September 2013, two months after authorities imposed limits on the amount homeowners can borrow. 

Source By: Bloomberg