SINGAPORE, July 10 (Xinhua) -- Singapore's several rounds of property market cooling measures, including the additional buyer's stamp duty for foreigners and non-individual buyers, have produced "encouraging results," National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Tuesday.
Responding to questions raised by a lawmaker, Khaw said the proportion of private residential properties bought by foreigners and companies has fallen to about 7 percent in the first half of this year from 20 percent in 2011.
Short-term property speculation has also fallen sharply, as indicated by the relatively low volume of sub-sales.
Private home prices moderated significantly, rising by a marginal 0.3 per cent in the first half of 2012, compared with the 6 percent increase for the whole of 2011.
Singapore government introduced the additional buyer's stamp duty of 10 percent in December for foreigners and corporate buyers to cool the demand for private residential property. There were also several rounds of cooling measures put in place earlier by the government.
The higher stamp duty was introduced for foreign buyers and companies in view of the large pool of liquidity and strong buying interest from abroad, and the relatively small size of the Singapore market.
Khaw said the measures have helped the home buyers, including those at the middle and low-end of the market.
Khaw said there are positive signs that the market is moving towards a stable and more sustainable path.
The government will continue to monitor the market closely, and remain ready to revise and enhance the policy, if and when the situation demands it, he said.