Singapore’s Home Prices Need to Decline Further: Deputy PM
A file photograph of a residential condominium project in Singapore. Reuters

Home sales in Singapore, Asia's second-most expensive housing market, struck a five-month high in April amid declining property prices, according to government data.

Home sales in April rose to 745 units, the highest since 1,271 in November 2013, according to data from Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA).

Home sales jumped 55% over March 2014 but dropped 46% when compared to April 2013's figures, data showed on 15 May.

Realty firms managed to sell more than the 586 units marketed, as home buyers rushed to make bookings amid falling prices.

"It's an improvement as developers sold more units than they launched last month," said Nicholas Mak, an executive director at SLP International Property Consultants in Singapore.

"That's a good sign because it shows they are cutting their inventory of unsold units." Mak told Bloomberg.

Prices of private residential properties fell by 1.3% in the first three months of 2014, following a 0.9% dip in the preceding quarter, URA data showed on 25 April.

Rental Discrimination

Several landlords in Singapore refuse to rent homes to mainland Chinese and Indians and the so-called rental discrimination has reportedly become a rising menace in the small but wealthy city-state.

The issue appears more common with less expensive properties and on property rental sites where content is posted directly by users, the Online Citizen reported.

Singapore is an ethnically diverse nation, comprising 74% Chinese, 13% Malay, 9% Indian and 3% from other groups, according to official data.

Nine out of 10 Singaporean households own their homes, according to government data. As such, a sizeable chunk of renters are foreigners.

Most Expensive City

Singapore has become the most expensive city in the world to live in following rise in house prices after an influx of foreign workers boosted the island's wealth and demand for homes.

According to a February Economist Intelligence Unit report, entitled The Worldwide Cost of Living Survey, a strengthening of the Singaporean dollar also pushed the country to pole position as the expansion of the republic's financial industry contributed to the country's wealth.