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Singapore takes new steps to cool housing market

SINGAPORE, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Singapore on Friday set a maximum tenure of 35 years for all new residential property loans as part of new measures to cool its housing market.

The new rules, which take effect from Oct 6, apply to both private homes and government-built Housing and Development Board (HDB) apartments, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said in a statement.

"Over the last three years, the average tenure for new residential property loans has increased from 25 to 29 years. More than 45 percent of new residential property loans granted by financial institutions have tenures exceeding 30 years," MAS said.

"The new rules aim to curb continued upward pressure on residential property prices, driven by low interest rates and rapid credit growth," the central bank added.

Singapore private home prices rose 0.5 percent in the third quarter from the April-June quarter, when prices increased by 0.4 percent, while resale prices of HDB apartments gained 2.0 percent quarter-on-quarter following an increase of 1.3 percent in April-June.

(Reporting by Kevin Lim; Editing by Kim Coghill)

((Kevin.Lim@thomsonreuters.com)(65)(6403 5663))

Keywords: SINGAPORE PROPERTY/