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Singapore tightens public housing policy [29-08-2013]  
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Singapore tightened the country's public housing policy by reducing tenures for new loans and restricting foreign permanent residents from buying government-built homes.

Singapore will cut the maximum tenure for new housing loans to purchase homes built by the state to 25 years from 30 years, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said on its website. Borrowers will receive as much as 30 per cent of their gross monthly income, down from 35 per cent, it said.

Foreigners will be allowed to buy resold HDB flats three years after they obtain permanent residential status in the island city, the board said. The measure took effect 5.30pm local time yesterday.

Singapore's public housing policies also affect private developers because they rely on these homeowners to upgrade to condominiums. The city's private home sales in July slid to the lowest since December 2009 as investors balked at new curbs on property loans and developers marketed fewer projects.

Home sales fell to 481 units last month, 73 per cent lower from a month earlier, according to data from the Urban Redevelopment Authority on August 15.

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