S’pore limits mortgages to slow price increases

January 14, 2011
Singapore Democrats

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Associated Press

Singapore says it has limited the size of housing loans in a bid to slow rising property prices.

The National Development Ministry said Thursday that banks can loan up to 60 percent of the value of a property to borrowers who already have at least one mortgage, down from a previous 70 percent.

The ministry also said owners who sell a property within four years of purchase must pay a stamp tax, up from a previous period of three years.

The ministry said low interest rates and abundant money could cause prices to rise to unsustainable levels.

Private residential property prices have advanced for six straight quarters, including a 2.7 percent increase in the fourth quarter and an 18 percent jump for all of last year.

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