SINGAPORE—The Singapore government plans to pump more land into the city-state's private residential property market in the first half of next year to help temper building price pressures.
The continuation of the land-supply program seen in the second half of this year comes amid signs the government remains concerned about the formation of a housing bubble despite three rounds of measures to curb speculative activity since September 2009. Singapore's home-property prices rose more than 14% in the third quarter of this year from the fourth quarter of last year, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
The Singapore government's attempts to address property-price pressures follow recent measures by regulators in China and Hong Kong, as a number of Asian markets see a surge in home prices due in part to massive investment flows into the region.
The government in late August unveiled its third set of measures in a year to curb speculative activity in the housing market, which included increasing the size of the down payment required to secure a second home loan and extending the period an owner must hold a property to avoid paying a stamp duty when selling it. Thursday's move suggests Singapore may not be far from imposing its fourth round of policies to knock the heat out of the market.
The URA said it will place 17 residential sites on its confirmed list and 13 sites on its reserve list in its land-sales program for the first half of next year. Reserve sites are tendered for sale only when a bidder makes an offer for the parcel that meets the government's sales criteria.
The authority said the program's confirmed list of sites could yield about 8,125 residential units, roughly in line with the record 8,135 units from the confirmed list in the second half of 2010.
However, the total potential number of units from both the confirmed and reserve residential list in the first half of 2011 is a record 14,300, up from 13,900 units in the second half.
"The government will continue to monitor the property market closely and is prepared to inject even more supply of private housing should demand continue to be strong," the government said in a statement Thursday.
The planned supply will also include five commercial sites, one "white" site and eight hotel sites. White sites allow developers to build properties for a range of uses.
The sales program comes shortly after the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in its annual Financial Stability Review Thursday that the government would take steps to temper exuberance in the property market and pre-empt speculative bubbles if needed.
"Current global conditions of flush liquidity and low interest rates may lead to upward pressures on domestic asset prices," the central bank said in its report.
The Singapore government's aggressive land-sales program "tells you the government expects no let-up in the residential sector," UBS analyst Michael Lim said.
"I think this is clearly a signal of the government's resolve to control price momentum in this sector."
Nomura analyst Sai Min Chow said new measures to cool sentiment could include tweaks to current policies, such as an increase in the down payment required for second mortgages or possibly introducing a holding-period tax, which would tax the gains made on the sale of properties within three years of purchase.
Mr. Sai said the government may look to introduce more cooling measures in its 2011 budget in February, which will follow the release of private property price data for the fourth quarter of 2010 in January.
—Gaurav Raghuvanshi contributed to this article.