REFILE-STOCKS NEWS SINGAPORE-Property stocks down after new measures

Sun Oct 7, 2012 9:48pm EDT

(Corrects to add missing word in paragraph 3)

Singapore's latest measures to cool its property market by capping the tenure of new home loans at 35 years, may result in lower transaction volumes for a few months before picking up again, Nomura said.

At 0117 GMT, shares in CapitaLand Ltd, Southeast Asia's largest property developer, were down 2.7 percent at S$3.21, while smaller rival City Developments Ltd fell 1.3 percent to S$11.79.

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

Nomura also noted that unless home buyers have ample capital, mortgage repayment could now be 24-45 percent higher. The brokerage's top pick among Singapore residential developers is Keppel Land Ltd, as it trades at a discount of 41 percent to its net asset value.

"In reality, however, we suspect the market will still find its way around the new rules," said Nomura, adding that negative impact on stock prices of developers is likely to be limited.

CIMB Research said the Singapore government's move was pre-emptive in nature and unlikely to hurt demand much, given low mortgage rates and demand for smaller units.

"While the impact on demand may be mild, the government's pledge to keep prices down signals further policy headwinds for developers," said CIMB, which kept its 'neutral' rating on the sector. Its top picks include CapitaLand and CapitaCommercial Trust, for which it has 'outperform' ratings.

0919 (0119 GMT)

(Reporting by Charmian Kok in Singapore; charmian.kok@thomsonreuters.com; Editing by Prateek Chatterjee)