S’pore home sales rocket

Singapore just got a little more crowded. Source: Wikimedia

Singapore’s home sales rose at the highest rate in more than a year last month as developers marketed more projects for potential buyers. The city-state, meanwhile, is poised to sign a deal to begin work on a rail link with Kuala Lumpur.
Around 1,252 homes were sold in October, compared with 509 in September, according to the Urban Redevelopment Authority. It was the highest monthly sales figures since July last year, the agency said.
Singaporean developers put 1,467 homes on the market in October, more than three times the number the preceding month. The largest sales came from the Forest Woods project by Serangoon Green Pte which sold 364 apartments of the 519 marketed. The Alps development by MCC Land sold 334 of 626 homes available.
The sales increase comes as the authorities in the Lion City has tried to control the housing market, maintaining real estate curbs rolled out since 2009. Prices and sales have dropped since the administration began introducing housing curbs, with some of the toughest measures implemented in 2013.
Home prices fell for a 12th consecutive quarter until September and residential values are down 11 per cent from their peak three years ago. The existing stock of unsold homes could take three years to sell, said Augustine Tan, president of the island republic’s Real Estate Developers’ Association. In addition to the oversupply, home vacancy rates were at their highest in more than 11 years, said Tan in September.
Meanwhile, Singapore and Malaysia are due to agree to develop their highly anticipated high-speed rail link early in December.
“We are working towards signing the bilateral agreement on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore high-speed rail at the next leaders’ retreat on December 5,” a Singapore’s Transport Ministry spokesman told the media.
The rail project was first announced in 2013 with construction due to start in 2018 and trains expected to run by 2026. The annual leaders’ retreat is taking place in Johor Baru, diplomats told the New Straits Times.
The paper said the agreement would detail the cost and revenue-sharing of the project, and whether a tunnel or a bridge would cross the Johor Strait to Singapore.
Passengers would probably be able to clear customs at their departure point, the report added.
The 350km double-track train should link Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 90 minutes, with termini in Bandar Malaysia and Jurong East.
After the signing ceremony, a bilateral committee would be formed to manage and regulate the project, it was announced.