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Saturday, 20 December 2008

Singapore says 10,000 homes bought via deferred payment

SINGAPORE, Dec 19 - Singapore said on Friday there were 10,450 uncompleted private homes purchased under the country's deferred payment scheme, revealing for the first time the potential number of homes that may be returned to developers.

About 4,560 of these homes are scheduled for completion next year while another 2,540 will be ready in 2010, the Urban Redevelopment Authority said in a statement.

Singapore introduced the deferred payment scheme in 1997 in a bid to boost the then-moribond property market. The scheme, which was withdrawn in 2007, allowed buyers to buy property under construction without lining up bank financing in advance so long as they made a downpayment of 10-20 percent.

The recent fall in Singapore home prices, coupled with the financial crisis that has made banks reluctant to lend, has led to concerns about a jump in the supply of unsold homes due to the failure of buyers to get loans.

"The data is provided to enable the public to make a better informed assessment of the private housing market," URA said.

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