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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Singapore home prices rise but pace slows

SINGAPORE: Home prices in Singapore rose to record highs in the fourth quarter but the pace of increase declined, government data showed yesterday, suggesting authorities may hold off introducing new measures to cool the housing market.

The Urban Redevelopment Authority's flash estimate showed private home prices rose 2.7 per cent in the last three months of 2010 compared with the preceding period, down from an increase of 2.9 per cent in the third quarter.

"The pace of growth has slowed for the fifth consecutive quarter... This should give comfort that the recent government property cooling measures, as well as the ramped-up state land supply, have worked to some extent to contain price growth," said Tay Huey Ing, director of research and advisory at Colliers in Singapore.

Tan predicts private home prices in Singapore will rise by around 10 per cent this year, down from the 17.6 per cent increase in 2010, as low interest rates will continue to drive demand for residential property.

A separate index by the Housing Development Board indicated prices of government-built apartments that were sold gained 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter after rising 4 per cent in the preceding period.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Trade and Industry said Singapore's economy grew 12.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010, a record year in which the city state was Asia's strongest economic performer,

Singapore grew 14.7 per cent for the year as a whole, the figures confirmed, bounding back from a 1.3 per cent contraction in 2009.

Last year's growth was Singapore's best ever economic performance, surpassing the previous record of 13.8 per cent set in 1970 and within the government's projected range of 13-15 per cent.

By Business Times

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