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Singapore property not set for 'big bump', CapitaLand says

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Singapore home prices are unlikely to stage a rapid rebound after the government imposed further property curbs in mid-2018, the finance chief of the city-state's largest developer said.

[SINGAPORE] Singapore home prices are unlikely to stage a rapid rebound after the government imposed further property curbs in mid-2018, the finance chief of the city-state's largest developer said.

"If we see a 5 per cent increase in home prices I think that will be a pretty good year for the Singapore residential market," CapitaLand chief financial officer Andrew Lim said in an interview with Bloomberg Television on Wednesday. "The severity and extent of the measures in July caught us by surprise."

Home prices posted their first decline in six quarters in the last three months of 2018.

In July, the government imposed higher stamp duties and tougher loan-to-value rules to choke off a sudden bout of exuberance. The earlier resurgence had been marked by aggressive land bids from developers and an explosion in en-bloc sales, where apartment owners band together to sell entire buildings.

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"We agree with the main view on the street which is that we don't expect a big bump up anytime soon," Mr Lim said.

CapitaLand's profit rose 71 per cent to S$475.7 million in the quarter ended Dec 31, bolstered by asset sales and property revaluations, the company said earlier Wednesday.

The shares rose 1.2 per cent in early Singapore trade, taking this year's gain to 10 per cent.

The developer agreed last month to acquire Temasek units Ascendas and Singbridge, bolstering its assets to more than S$116 billion across 180 cities in 32 countries. The deal adds logistics centers and business parks to its portfolio of residential, retail and commercial property.

"Ascendas will bring us greater diversity and operational excellence in new economy sectors of logistics and business parks," Mr Lim said. "Ascendas has very strong expertise in markets that CapitaLand does not have such as India, Australia and Korea."

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