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URA to include sale transactions of delicensed housing projects in its private-home price index

Lawrence Wong, Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance, at the REDAS Mid-Autumn Festival Lunch

THE Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) will include sale transactions of delicensed residential projects in the computation of its quarterly private-home price index.

This was announced by Real Estate Developers Association of Singapore (Redas) president Augustine Tan in his speech at the association's mid-autumn festival lunch on Wednesday.

"I am pleased to note that through dialogue with Redas, URA will include sale transactions of delicensed projects in its property price index to improve transparency in the property market," Mr Tan said.

BT understands that URA has begun the process of collating such information.

A housing project may be delicensed if it has received Certificate of Statutory Completion, and where the individual strata titles have been issued to buyers.

Currently, developers of licensed projects are required to submit weekly sales data to URA showing discounts and other incentives to reflect the net sale price.

However, a delicensed project is no longer regulated by the Housing Developers (Control and Licensing) Act and its rules; its developer no longer has to disclose sales updates to URA and has leeway to launch novel marketing schemes for these projects.

For delicensed projects, URA uses data collated from records submitted to the taxman for stamp duty payment, which some industry players say may not reflect some of the indirect incentives given by developers to woo home buyers.

As a result, some market watchers have suggested that URA's price index - particularly for Core Central Region, where there has been a flurry of developers' sales in delicensed projects in recent months - may be slightly inflated as some incentives given by such developers may not be captured in the sales data URA uses to compute its price indices.