By David Scanlan and Krystal Chia
(Bloomberg) — Singapore home prices rose for a 12th straight quarter, bucking a global housing slowdown and prompting authorities to raise property taxes on foreign buyers to cool the market.
Property values climbed 3.3% in the first three months of the year, Urban Redevelopment Authority figures showed Friday. That compares with a preliminary estimate of 3.2% and a 0.4% gain in the previous quarter.
Singapore’s housing market has remained buoyant even as cities from Hong Kong to London face price slumps. Home sales reached a six-month high in March, as a supply crunch eased and buyers remained undeterred by surging interest rates and inflation.
Singapore has taken steps to slow the market, which has been bolstered by new arrivals from China and elsewhere who are snapping up luxury homes. Earlier this week the government doubled the stamp duty for foreign buyers to 60%, and raised the rate on second-home purchases. Singapore also raised taxes for buyers of higher-value properties in its February budget.
The hike on foreign buyers is “draconian” even though the move wasn’t totally a surprise, Citigroup Inc. analyst Brandon Lee wrote in a note. Citigroup forecasts price growth to slow over the next few quarters to about 2%, but not drop given a healthy job market.
Rents are also surging in Singapore, which bagged the top spot for growth in the last quarter of 2022, overtaking New York. Rents for private apartments jumped 36% in February from a year earlier, according to a report by real estate portal SRX.
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.