Singapore city skyline
First sign of cooling after property tax hike in April Image Credit: Pixabay

Singapore home prices fell for the first time in three years in the second quarter, suggesting the market is cooling on the back of the latest property curbs.

Private property values slid 0.4% from the previous three months, when they rose 3.3%, according to flash estimates released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority on Monday. That's the first decline since the first quarter of 2020.

Price momentum may finally be easing after a buoyant run that saw the city-state's red-hot property market defy a global slowdown from London to Shanghai. To keep a lid on apartment prices, the government doubled stamp duties for foreign buyers in April to 60% "- the highest among major markets. It also raised levies for second-home buyers.


"We believe the recent moderation in prices was driven by the latest round of property cooling measures in April, and we expect prices to edge up for the rest of the year," Morgan Stanley analysts Wilson Ng and Derek Chang wrote in a note on Monday. The bank projected 5% price growth for the full year.

While prices fell last quarter, transaction volume increased by about 16% from the previous three months, according to URA. Home sales reached a one-year high in May, as a supply crunch eased amid new development launches.

"We are continuing to see signs of moderation in the property market," Singapore's Minister for National Development Desmond Lee wrote in a Facebook post after the figures were released. "We have also continued to increase housing supply to meet the demand."

Singapore's property frenzy has also reached the market for public homes. An index of Housing & Development Board resale prices reached a new high in the second quarter, rising 1.4% from the previous three months. That's the 13th straight quarter of gains.

A public housing unit was resold for a record S$1.5 million ($1.1 million) in June.