Property highlights of the week from July 2 to July 6:

 

1) ABSD hike, LTV tightening

The Government has announced higher Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) rates for some categories of residential property purchases, and the Loan-to-Value (LTV) limits on residential property purchases have been lowered in a bid to cool the property market.

After four tepid years, house prices began to rise in the third quarter of 2017 and have surged by 9.1% over the past year.

"The sharp increase in prices, if left unchecked, could run ahead of economic fundamentals and raise the risk of a destabilising correction later, especially with rising interest rates and the strong pipeline of housing supply," the Singapore government said in a statement.

Stamp duty for Singaporeans and permanent residents buying their first home will be unchanged, but those buying their second or subsequent properties will see increases of 5 percentage points effective on 6 July 2018, it said.

 

2) Developers bring forward launches in reaction to property cooling measures

Developers of two projects that previewed over the weekend of June 30 brought forward their launches by more than a week. They are Park Colonial at Woodleigh Lane and Stirling Residences on Stirling Road, which were launched on the night of July 5 instead of the original date of July 14.

At Park Colonial, more than 300 units were snapped up overnight at an average price of $1,700 psf. Park Colonial is a joint venture between CEL Development, the property development arm of listed construction group Chip Eng Seng Corp together with Heeton Holdings and KSH Holdings.

Stirling Residences, a joint development by Logan Property and Nanshan Group, was launched at an average price of $1,800 psf. The 1,259-unit development is located along Stirling Road, a three-minute walk from the Queenstown MRT station. It saw sales of close to 200 units on the first day of launch.

The project that sold the most units overnight was Riverfront Residences at Hougang Avenue 7. It chalked up more than 500 sales, with prices of units in the $1,200 to $1,300 psf range. The developer - a consortium led by Oxley Holdings - brought forward its launch by two days from July 7.

Marina One Residences likewise hastened its launch to July 5, with units at prices starting from $2,600 psf.

 

3) Singapore Developer Stocks Fall After Surprise Property Curbs

Singapore property and bank stocks led declines on the benchmark stock index Friday after the government unexpectedly tightened property curbs to cool a market the central bank described as euphoric. City Developments Ltd. and UOL Group Ltd. fell more than 14 percent each.

The index tracking property stocks dropped 1.4 percent as of 9:02 a.m. in Singapore Friday, set for the lowest close in more than 15 months. It had risen the most in two weeks Thursday despite a warning from the central bank chief the previous day that there was "a euphoria" in the housing market. Bank shares also fell.

The announcement late Thursday of higher stamp duty rates and tougher loan-to-value limits for buyers surprised investors, who had pushed shares of property developers higher earlier in the day.