The Week in Numbers: New Private Home Sales In Singapore Drop By Almost 50%

New private home sales shrank by nearly half in October from the previous month. Developers only sold 487 units, down 48% from the 932 sold in September, and 36% lower than October last year. The figures released by the Urban Redevelopment Authority suggests the developers are not bringing new projects to market as quickly. This could be due to softer home prices resulting from the effects of the additional property cooling measures implemented in July.

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell said the US economy was strong but could face potential headwinds next year. Powell listed slowing growth in other countries, the lagging effects of the eight rate hikes implemented by the Fed, and fading fiscal stimulus as potential challenges. The US economy expanded 3.5% from last year in the third quarter of 2018. This was on the back of strong consumer spending and the lowest unemployment level in nearly 50 years. The Fed has already increased rates three times this year, with a fourth rate hike pencilled in for next month.

Oil ended its 12-day losing streak on Wednesday, 14 November as OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) and allied producers suggests they could cut production as soon as next year. Crude in the US had dipped to US$55 a barrel for the first time in a year amid fears of a supply glut, with high US production and rising OPEC output.

Tech stocks have seen a substantial dip in their share prices in recent months. Since their most recent peaks,, Alphabet, Apple and Netflix have lost around 18.5%, 14%, 17% and 23% respectively. Apple, in particular, has seen investor sentiment wane as investors fret about tepid demand for its iPhone. Lumentum, which supplies the facial recognition technology to Apple, saw its stock drop 30% after revealing it was reducing shipments to one of its largest customers.

Meanwhile, analysts are worried that China tech stocks are also on the verge of more pain. Gaming giant and WeChat operator, Tencent Holdings Ltd, has seen its share price plummet 38% since its peak in January. Chinese regulators have blocked the company’s pipeline of games due to concerns of game addiction. E-commerce giant, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, has lost 18% of its market value this year, and the company has downgraded projections for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends in March.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will place S$5 billion with locally-based fund managers who invest in private enterprises and infrastructure projects. The program’s focus on private market reflects the strong growth in this sector. MAS board member, Peter Ong, said that a recent equity report by Bain & Co on the Asia-Pacific region showed that assets managed by around 220 venture capital and private equity managers have grown by 28% annually to reach S$190 billion in five years.

And finally, China home price growth continues to accelerate despite government regulations. New home prices rose 1.02% from September, the fifth month in a row of larger than 1% increase in prices. Values gained in 65 of 70 cities, suggesting that government attempts to curb demand has largely fell short. This could trigger further property cooling measures to rein in demand, with President Xi emphasising that properties should be for living and not speculating.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore writer Jeremy Chia own shares in Alphabet C Class, Tencent Holdings and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Motley Fool Singapore has recommendations on Tencent Holdings, Apple Inc, Alphabet and, Inc.